What’s worse than a frog in your throat? How about a whole octopus?
Doctors were flabbergasted after discovering that a Singapore man’s throat discomfort was caused by an eight-legged mollusk that had become stuck in his gullet.
The unnamed patient had reportedly first realized something was awry after he started vomiting following a meal that included the cephalopod.
The diner also had trouble swallowing, prompting him to pay a visit to the Tan Tock Seng Hospital.
Doctors conducted a computed tomography scan, which revealed a super-dense mass in the man’s esophagus.
A subsequent esophagogastroduodenoscopy — a gastrointestinal examination involving a small, flexible tube — showed a tentacled octopus lodged two inches from the esophagus-stomach border like something out of Ridley Scott’s “Alien.”
After initial attempts to push or extract the interloper were unsuccessful, medics navigated the endoscope past the octopus into the stomach and retroflexed it.
They then used forceps to grasp the critter’s head and remove it from the patient.
Thankfully, the patient recovered well following surgery and was discharged after two days.
Apparently, food obstructions are among the most common problems encountered at the hospital, per the facility’s physicians, who say items will pass spontaneously in 80% to 90% of cases.
Meanwhile, endoscopic intervention is necessary in 10 and 20% of cases while 1% of them require surgery.
“The ‘push technique’ is the primary method recommended with high success rates, however applying excessive force can cause esophageal perforation,” said the medical team.
Unfortunately, this is far from the first time a cephalopod has gone down the wrong pipe.
In 2016, a 2-year-old boy in Wichita, Kansas had to be hospitalized after getting an octopus lodged in his throat during an apparent sushi session gone awry.
Meanwhile, approximately six people die a year from eating Sannakji, the live octopus dish that’s a delicacy in South Korea.
Fatalities are generally caused when the suckers adhere to the sides of the diner’s throat, causing the victim to asphyxiate.
This risk is heightened when the tentacles are cut longer or the critter is eaten whole, generally as part of a soju-inspired stunt.