Video: Doctors remove swallowed coins, nails

updated 11/12/2009 1:30:49 PM ET 2009-11-12T18:30:49

Doctors in Peru say they have removed 1.5 pounds of metal — including nails, coins, copper wire and scrap metal — from a man's stomach.

"They call me the hardware store," Requelme Abanto said from his hospital bed in northern Peru.

Cajamarca hospital surgeon Carlos Delgado told The Associated Press on Wednesday that he's never seen anything like what he found in last week's operation.

"We went in thinking it could be appendicitis, but weren't we surprised by what we found — a hole in his stomach," Delgado said.

Delgado said specialists are examining Abanto's mental health as he recovers.

The 26-year-old construction worker ate the metal for months, and told Peru's Channel 9 television that he may now do it in public "as sport."

"I swallowed 17 nails in February and didn't die," he said. "Five-inch nails, all in one day."

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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