Doctors Find Whole Octopus Stuck in Man’s Esophagus

Doctors in Singapore were shocked to discover an octopus lodged in a man’s esophagus while performing a gastrointestinal examination to see what was causing him to vomit.

The unnamed Singaporean man first realized something was wrong when he started vomiting following a meal that happen to include a raw octopus. When he realized that he also had trouble swallowing, the man panicked and quickly decided to pay a visit to the Tan Tock Seng Hospital emergency room. Doctors there quickly conducted a CT scan, which revealed a super-dense mass in the man’s esophagus, but they couldn’t be sure what it was without attempting an invasive procedure called esophagogastroduodenoscopy, which involves inserting a small, flexible tube with a camera at its end down the person’s throat. That’s how they discovered that the man had a whole octopus stuck in his throat.

Photo: Moritz Kindler/Unsplash

Imagine the surprise of the doctors performing the gastrointestinal examination as they discovered the Alien-like cephalopod stuck in the passage between the man’s esophagus and stomach. Images from the endoscope camera were recently shared by the American Gastrointestinal Association (AGA) Institute, and show the eight-tentacled critter stuck in the man’s esophagus, preventing him from swallowing.


At first, doctors tried the “push technique”, which usually proves very successful, but it soon became apparent that the octopus would not go down without a fight, and applying too much pressure risked rupturing the esophagus. So they tried getting the endoscope past the octopus into the stomach and then retroflexing it. They then had to use forceps to grab the sea creature and pull it out of the esophagus.


It’s unclear why the man swallowed the octopus whole, but, luckily, he recovered very well after the gastrointestinal procedure and was discharged after two days. At least he didn’t try to eat the marine creature alive, or he could have wound up one of the six people on average who die asphyxiated every year. Apparently, the octopuses desperately glue their tentacles to people’s throats as they are swallowed, cutting off the passage of air completely.

via NY Post

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