Pradeep Hode, a 30-year-old from Diva in Thane, was seeking a cure for tuberculosis. But, he got to see the other side of the coin.

A chronic patient of tuberculosis of the abdomen, Hode, over the past few months, had swallowed 117 coins, which were removed on Friday after a surgery by doctors at KEM Hospital, Parel.

Hode had been suffering from severe abdominal pain for the past few months. Based on hearsay and some bizarre logic of his own, Hode started swallowing coins hoping that the heavy metal would reduce abdominal pain and create pressure for regular bowel movements. However, his condition only got worse.

Parmeshwar Gond, senior medical officer at KEM Hospital, said Hode came with intestinal obstruction symptoms on Friday morning. "He was vomiting, had constipation and continuous abdominal pain. His bowel movement had totally stopped because of blockages in the lower abdomen," he said.

Gond said the hospital immediately put Hode through the standard investigation procedures, like CT scan and X-ray of his abdomen, to know the exact position of the coins inside his stomach. "He was taken for a surgery without wasting any time," he added.

Sameer Rege, under the guidance of P Hardikar of the general surgery department at KEM, performed the operation on Hode for nearly two hours to remove the coins.

"We had to dissect and remove a portion of his small bowel (alium) as many coins had deposited in that region. The metal had affected the small bowel," Gond said. Fortunately, he added, doctors could integrate some part of the small bowel into his intestinal system. "He will soon have normal stool after the operated portion heals in a few days," Gond added. Hode is now recuperating at KEM.