A former Australian prisoner got the shock of a lifetime when doctors performing a series of medical tests discovered an 18-year-old bag of weed lodged inside the man’s right nostril. Doctors are now calling this the first-ever reported case of “a prison-acquired marijuana-based rhinolith.”
According to a recently published medical procedure detailed in a new issue of British Medical Journal Case Reports, the bag of bud was hidden in the 48-year-old man’s nostril in a failed smuggling attempt nearly two decades ago. The patient had been given the small rubber balloon full of weed during an allowed visit, and was able to sneak the contraband past guards in his nose, but was never able to retrieve it once he was back in his cell.
“Despite effectively smuggling the package past the prison guards, the patient then accidentally pushed the package deeper into his nostril and mistakenly believed he had swallowed it,” the case study details. “He remained unaware of the package's presence until presented with the unusual histopathology report.”
Once he was a free man, the patient sought out doctors for treatment of frequent sinus infections, nasal obstruction, and painful headaches. It was only after doctors performed a CT scan of his brain that the bud balloon became visible. But after 18 years of calcification, doctors did not know what the rubber and plant mass was, until the former prisoner was able to rack his brain and remember the marijuana mishap.
Three months after the package was removed from the man’s nasal cavity, he returned to the doctor and reported a complete recovery from his years-old sinus ailments.
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