Kaliappan’s troubles began when he took part in a strange rural game last Sunday.
He had to hold a soft drink bottle under his arm and uncork it with his mouth. The competitors were then required to drink the content of the bottle while retaining the cap inside the mouth. The one who empties the bottle first will be the winner.
The 42-year-old resident of Kundapatti in Dindigul did everything right, until he realised that he had swallowed the bottle cap along with the drink.
Kaliappan, a daily wage earner, could not even swallow his own saliva. He ate a banana to wash the cap down to his stomach, but it only worsened things.
He was rushed to Government Rajaji Hospital (GRH) where the doctors detected through a CT Scan that the cap had shut the path of the Oesophagus.
A team of doctors, including an ENT specialist, used the endoscopic method to pull out the substance on Monday. “As the cap was capable of damaging the food path seriously, we were very careful. We used endoscopic method after applying regional anaesthesia. We could remove the foreign body using forceps in an hour and a half-long operation,” K R Kannappan, Head, ENT Department, GRH, told reporters.
After the surgery, Kaliappan was put on liquid diet till his wounds healed. But he hurriedly discharged himself from the hospital, said GRH Dean N Mohan.