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Vietnam doctors find scissors in man's stomach after 18 years

A Vietnamese man is in recovery after surgeons removed the sharp object from his abdomen, most likely left over from an operation in 1998. The man has lived a normal life, unaware of the surgical tool in his body.

The 54-year-old Ma Van Nhat recently complained of a stomachache, prompting the doctors to do an ultrasound and discover the 15-centimeter (six-inch) scissors, Vietnam medical officials said on Tuesday.

A team of doctor successfully removed the instrument in a three-hour long operation, according to Ngo Trung Thang, deputy head of general affairs at Gang Thep Thai Nguyen hospital.

The patient is reported to be in stable condition.

"He is recovering well," Thang told the AFP news agency Tuesday.

The surgical scissors were likely left inside the patient's body in 1998, when he was operated on following a car accident. In the years that followed, they grew rusty and settled near his colon.

The man has spent over 18 years "eating, drinking and having a pretty normal life," according to the official news site of Vietnam's health ministry.

The officials are now looking for the doctors who performed the original surgery, but the culprits have not yet been tracked down. 

dj/kms (AFP, dpa)