Lao woman saved by surgeries after drinking toilet products and losing 40 kg

By Le Nga   May 9, 2024 | 03:31 pm PT
Lao woman saved by surgeries after drinking toilet products and losing 40 kg
Doctors perform a surgery on a Lao woman at the Bach Mai Hospital. Photo by VnExpress/Mai Thanh
A 23-year-old Lao woman in Hanoi lost 40 kg after consuming toilet bowl cleaners, rendering her unable to consume food normally – but modern healthcare saved her.

The woman drank the cleaning products when she became upset and disturbed over "personal issues" over a year ago.

But her family rushed her to the hospital as soon as they found out.

However, ingestion of the products had already severely burned her gastrointestinal tracts, rendering her unable to consume solid food. For three months, she could not even drink water.

The woman visited several medical facilities, Vientiane, the capital of Laos.

She was also put through several treatments by experts in Vietnam, including esophageal dilation and stent insertion, to no avail.

Tran Manh Hung, head of the general surgery department at Bach Mai Hospital in Hanoi, said the patient came to the hospital two months prior with severe malnutrition. From a healthy girl at 74 kg, she only weighed 34 kg two months ago.

"All of the patient’s gastrointestinal tracts have been burned due to corrosive substances, causing her esophagus to shrink," Hung said, adding that treating her would involve the complex reshaping of her upper gastrointestinal tracts.

Doctors decided to perform a surgery to enable them to feed her directly through her gastrointestinal tracts. Once the patient’s conditions improve, another surgery would remove her esophagus and reshape her upper gastrointestinal tracts.

A month after the first operation, the woman’s health began to improve. She gained 10 kg and her BMI was sufficient to prepare her for a major surgery.

At the end of last month, Hung and his colleagues succeeded in their second surgery to reshape the patient’s upper gastrointestinal tracts. She has now become healthy and has been discharged from the hospital.

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