Man suffers months of headaches. Doctors discover the cause: Chopsticks

Science and Health

A man in Dong Hoi, Vietnam, sought medical help at the hospital after enduring excruciating headaches, vision loss, and nasal fluid discharge for several months. 

Perplexed by his symptoms, doctors conducted a CT scan to determine the cause. To their astonishment, the scan unveiled two foreign objects from the man’s nose in his brain. Even more astonishing, these objects turned out to be broken chopsticks inexplicably lodged in his nasal cavity.

Recalling a bar fight five months prior, the patient finally connected the dots and suspected that during the altercation, his opponent had forcefully thrust the chopsticks into his skull. Initially, doctors had found nothing when he sought emergency treatment. However, the recent revelation sheds light on the actual cause of his ailments.

Dr Nguyen Van Man, the head of the Department of Neurosurgery, labeled the case “very rare,” as reported by WION news. After performing endoscopic surgery through the patient’s nose, combined with microsurgery to repair the cranial fistula, surgeons successfully removed the chopsticks. Soon after, the man’s condition stabilized, and he was discharged to return home.

Chopsticks (Credit: Shutterstock)

Not the first case of harmful chopsticks

Curiously, this incident involving chopsticks is not an isolated case. In 2021, The Journal of Emergency Medicine documented a similar scenario where a 29-year-old woman arrived at the emergency room after being attacked by her sister with chopsticks during dinner. She reported a minor nosebleed and swelling in her left eye following the assault.


Upon examining her nasal cavity, a doctor discovered two fragments of chopsticks lodged in her nasal septum, penetrating from one side to the other. A CT scan confirmed the presence of two masses in her sinuses, one deeper than the other.

These peculiar cases serve as reminders of the unexpected dangers that can arise from seemingly innocuous objects. It is imperative to exercise caution and seek prompt medical attention when faced with such incidents.