Chopstick Pieces Stuck in Woman's Nose for a Week

Lindsay Kalter

July 09, 2021

A 29-year-old woman in Taiwan had chopstick fragments in her sinuses for a week after she was reportedly attacked by her sister at the dinner table, according to a new report.

The woman told doctors she had two plastic-wood chopsticks shoved up her nose during a fight and had eye swelling and a mild nosebleed afterward, according to a report published June 24 in The Journal of Emergency Medicine. She also had small cuts under her eye and on her nose.

A week later, the patient visited the clinic, "because some parts of the chopsticks used in the attack were missing," and she suspected they may be in her sinuses. She also reported seeing a gray object in her nose after looking in a mirror.

Pieces of chopsticks were found during a manual exam, while more embedded pieces were found during a CT scan. A doctor who examined the inside of the patient's nose saw pieces of one chopstick penetrating her septum, the area between the nasal passages. The CT scan showed two pieces in her sinuses.

Although facial trauma caused by foreign objects in the nasal cavity is somewhat common, this was a highly unusual case, the report said.

It appeared the chopsticks entered the woman's skull between the corner of her eye and the bridge of her nose, according to the report. She had surgery to remove the objects, which measured about 1.4 inches and 2 inches long.

There were no surgical complications reported.

Though stories like these are rare, there have been several other reports of objects lodged in nasal passages.

One New Zealand resident, for instance, discovered that she had a toy stuck in her nose for 37 years, which was discovered during a COVID-19 test.

In another odd case, A Feb. 18 report in the journal JAMA Otolaryngology ― Head & Neck Surgery described the experience of a teenager who had a BB gun pellet lodged in his nose for 8 years. He reportedly had congestion and smelled a foul odor for years, unaware of the pellet until it became dislodged when he blew his nose.

That said, the most common symptom of a foreign body in the nose is nasal drainage, according to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. The drainage tends to have a foul smell. And in some cases, a bloody nose or a whistling sound while breathing may come with it.


JAMA Otolaryngology ― Head & Neck Surgery: "A Mysterious Odor After Nose Blowing."

The Journal of Emergency Medicine: "A Woman with Missed Nasal Foreign Bodies Caused by Tiny Facial Laceration Wounds." "Woman Discovers She Had a Toy Stuck in Her Nose for 37 Years Thanks to Covid-19 Test."

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia: "Foreign Bodies in the Nose."


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