Doctors at the Dongyang People’s Hospital in Zhejiang province removed a total of 420 kidney stones from a man’s left kidney last Friday.
The patient, surnamed He, visited the doctor last month after suffering from intense abdominal pain. Both doctors and He were shocked when a CT scan revealed that his left kidney was packed with tiny stones.
“I have never seen so many kidney stones”, said one of the doctors, who has eight years of medical experience. “The kidney would not be able to function properly if he had waited any longer. The entire kidney would have to be removed.”
The man said that 20 years ago, he’d had 10 stones removed from his left kidney through lithotripsy, a medical procedure that destroys kidney stones.
This time, the doctors used forceps to remove each stone one by one. “The operation almost took two hours,” one of the doctors told reporters. “We spent 45 minutes just taking out the tiny stones. After the operation, my hands and legs were both numb.”
It’s believed that the main cause of his kidney stones was He’s daily meal of gypsum tofu, a popular local food with high concentrations of calcium sulfate. He also has a bad habit of never drinking water.
“Soy products, especially gypsum tofu, are very high in calcium,” said Wei Yubin, a doctor at the hospital. “The excess of which cannot be excreted from the body without a sufficient intake of water.”
Even though 55-year-old He has recovered from the operation, his left kidney is now weaker than before. He stored his stones in a plastic bag to bring them home as a souvenir and probably as an active reminder to stop eating tofu.
[Image via ifeng]
By Sharon Choi