Doctors surgically removed a collection of stones, bottle caps and coins weighing 4.4 pounds from a South Korean man's stomach. The details of the case were recently published by Dr. Pyong Wha Choi in the American Journal of Medical Case Reports.

The 54-year-old patient, who was not identified, complained of stomach pain and later sought help from medics. Doctors noticed the man was bloated and could feel "something resembling small stones" when they touched his abdomen for examination.

Scans conducted on the man showed several build-up objects "occupying the whole stomach." After questioning, the man confessed he often ingested coins and pebbles whenever he felt anxious. According to the report, the man was born with an intellectual disability.

"He was born with mental retardation and had a 10-year history of anxiety disorder," the report read.

In an attempt to relieve the man of the pain, surgeons tried to remove the objects using a gastroscopy, a procedure in which a thin tube is inserted into the stomach through the mouth. However, it failed as the items present in the man's stomach were too many.

The following day, the team of surgeons removed the objects from his stomach through a different surgical procedure.

"The foreign bodies (pebbles and coins) were extracted by surgery, and plain radiography was performed to confirm that there were no residual foreign bodies," the report read.

The extracted foreign bodies included pebbles, coins, and bottle caps, Dr. Choi wrote.

"Surgery was inevitable as there were too many foreign bodies to extract using endoscopy," the doctor said, adding that it was unclear how long the foreign bodies had been inside of him.

Discussing the rare case, Dr. Choi said ingestion of foreign bodies was more common in children because they accidentally swallow items.

"Once the foreign bodies pass through the oesophagus, symptoms associated with the foreign body is rare," Dr. Choi said. "In the present case, even though the patient did not complain of vomiting, the large number of pebbles and coins in his stomach caused him abdominal pain."

pebbles Doctors removed pebbles, coins and bottle caps from inside a man's stomach. This is a representational image showing pebbles on the ground. Photo: Getty Images/Glyn Kirk