Breathing easy: 40yo toy removed from lung op ‘cancer’ patient

Breathing easy:  40yo toy removed from lung op ‘cancer’ patient
A suspected cancer patient was given the all-clear after doctors discovered a possible tumor was in fact a toy traffic cone lodged “in the very last place he would look.”

The Playmobil toy sat unnoticed in the man’s body for 40 years, according to medical experts who published the case study in the British Medical Journal. They say that, to their knowledge, this was the first such instance of a foreign object in the body being overlooked for such a long time.

The patient had been referred to a respiratory clinic after showing symptoms of coughing and producing mucus following treatment for pneumonia.

A chest X-ray showed a mass in the right lung, which looked like a malignant tumor and substantially reduced the organ’s volume.

Fortunately, further tests revealed a foreign object simply masquerading as the tumor – a 1-centimeter-tall plastic traffic cone toy lodged in his lung.

"Following the procedure, the patient reported that he regularly played with and even swallowed pieces of Playmobil during his childhood," the team wrote in the case study, as reported in Science Alert.

"He recalled being given this Playmobil set for his seventh birthday and believes he aspirated the toy traffic cone soon after."

Doctors believe that due to his young age, it’s possible his airway was able to adapt around the object, absorbing it into the mucosal lining. our months after the object was removed, the patient's symptoms subsided.

"On a positive note his symptoms improved markedly and he finally found his long lost Playmobil traffic cone in the very last place he would look,"  the doctors concluded.