MUMBAI: In a strange incident, doctors on Thursday successfully operated and removed as many as 72 coins from a man’s stomach in Maharashtra’s Palghar district.

The 50-year-old tribal man had reportedly swallowed the coins over a long period due to certain mental illnesses, doctors said. He hails from Thoratpada in Talasari taluka of Palghar.

Krishna Somalya Sambar was suffering from a rare case of metallophagia, an impulse to swallow metallic objects, said Dr Amit Kele who led the team of doctors that operated Sambar.

The endoscopic surgery lasted for three and a half hours.

“He is suffering from ‘bezoar’- a gastrointestinal disorder- and ‘pica’- a compulsive disorder of eating non-nutritional substances- for the past 20 years. This made him a habitual eater of iron and metal coins. Some got flushed out of his system in the natural course of excretion but others remained,” Kele told DNA on Saturday.

The doctor added that due to the coins inside his stomach, Sambar was suffering from vomiting and indigestion.

On Thursday, Sambar approached the medical team, following which he underwent an X-ray. It was after the X-ray revealed the presence of coins in his stomach, the doctors proceeded to the operation.

The doctor said that Sambar’s condition was improving and he would soon be discharged from the hospital.