Doctors in Ireland performed a strange operation, removing over 50 batteries from a woman's stomach.

Getty Images/iStockphoto
Getty Images/iStockphoto

The 66-year-old woman swallowed 55 AA and AAA batteries in an apparent act of deliberate self-harm.

She was treated at St. Vincent's University Hospital in Dublin after ingesting a large number of cylindrical batteries.

Irish Medical Journal
Irish Medical Journal

X-Rays were taken showing the batteries did not seem to be obstructing her gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Thankfully no batteries showed signs of structural damage.


Doctors decided to start treatment by seeing if the batteries would pass through the GI track on their own. After 1 week the woman was able to pass five AA batteries, but nothing more. In the following 3 weeks, more x-rays were done and they showed the remaining batteries were not progressing through her body and it was causing the woman abdominal pain.

.Doctors decided to perform a laparotomy. (A laparotomy is a surgical incision into the abdominal cavity.) Surgeons found that the weight of the batteries had pulled down the stomach to where it was stretched to the pubic bone. Surgeons cut a small hole in the stomach and removed 46 AA and AAA batteries from the organ.

Irish Medical Journal
Irish Medical Journal

Four additional batteries, stuck in the colon, were "milked" into the rectum and removed through the anus. (Milking: A procedure used to express the contents of a tube or duct to obtain a specimen or to test for tenderness.)

A final X-ray scan then confirmed that the woman's GI tract was officially battery-free.

Read more here: Irish Medical Journal

What did you swallow that wasn't food?

After hearing this story, we talked about the times we accidentally swallowed something that wasn't food. We posted the question on the Dyer & Michaels Facebook page, and here are the responses we received.

  •  My daughter swallowed a quarter when she was 3. Earned a trip to the ER and an emergency endoscopy. That was a 15K quarter between tests, ambulance rides between hospitals, and surgery.
  • Snake fireworks! Told my mom they were my sister's candy. She left her purse out on her bed while at school, found them, and ate them. My mouth was black for 2 days straight. Had to drink milk all day per poison control.
  • The red nose from the game “operation”


  • I swallowed Mr. Potato Head's hand!


  • Apparently not enough...I have 5 kids.


  • Boneless children.... mmmmm protein.
  • I’m pretty sure I swallowed a crown in my sleep, one went missing.
  • On a super hot day, I grabbed a big glass of what I thought was iced tea. Took a big gulp only to find out it was my friend's spit cup with chew. The thought of it still makes me gag out loud.
Closeup of a lot of color AA batteries on a bright yellow background.
Getty Images/iStockphoto
  • My grandson chewed the paper of a straw and blew it through the straw. I was talking and he blew it right in my open mouth! Right down the throat it went!
  • A June bug at 60 mph on my Harley- I had to pull over.
  • Gun cleaner when I was little……had to have my stomach pumped.
  • My daughter swallowed a toothpick. It was in her sandwich and she didn't take it out.
  • As a kid, I broke a mercury thermometer in my mouth. Mom had to rush me to the hospital because I spit the glass out but swallowed some of the mercury.
  • A screw! A large one at that. My parents had to take me to get X-Rays for 3 days lol.
  • Gasoline that was in a beer can when I was 3.
Getty Images/iStockphoto
Getty Images/iStockphoto
  • A piece of frozen cardboard that was stuck to a tombstone pizza. It was burnt to the crust, didn't notice til I ate the next piece.
  • I accidentally swallowed a guitar pick while holding it in my mouth.
  • Live goldfish.
  • I might just get the reward for the grossest…. And it is true!!! A sandbox tootsie roll when I was 2 years old!!!
  • In first grade, I somehow managed a #2 pencil that was sharpened all the way down to the metal collar and what was left of the eraser. Luckily I'd written with it enough that it was super sharp. Came out the other side the next day.
  • I swallowed an ice cube earlier today, but I haven’t pooped it out…I’m starting to worry.
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