Woman’s stomach ‘explodes’ after eating too much over New Year holiday
On February 6, the story of a patient who experienced a “stomach explosion” from eating too much over the holiday began circulating across social media. Seeing as unfounded rumors floating around Weibo have a tendency of taking off on news media platforms, ahem, reporters looked into the story and found that, in fact, hospitals see some 12 cases like this per year.
According to a post by a nutritionist at the Beijing Friendship Hospital, the middle-aged woman was sent to a hospital in Suzhou, Jiangsu province an hour after she experienced severe abdominal swelling due to overeating, and was diagnosed with gastrectasia.
During her operation, gases containing ethyl alcohol burst from the patient’s stomach and came in contact with the surgeon’s electrical surgical knife, reportedly causing a fire, according to the post.
Wang Hao, a chief physician at the Nanjing Drum Tower Hospital in Jiangsu province explained to reporters that while it’s not necessarily a “stomach explosion”, his hospital encounters one or two cases of extreme gastric dilatation or perforation every year.
Wang added that for the stomach to catch on fire is a possibility, but very rare. “There is a lot of alcohol in the stomach, and the surgery was done with an electric knife. For a fire to occur is not impossible, but this is rare,” he said.
“Normally, people will stop eating when they feel full. However, drinking alcohol during a rich meal can make people ignore their body’s signals, and they eat too much,” he said.
The 58-year-old woman had her stomach removed entirely, but the doctor said if such a case is not promptly treated, it can easily lead to death.