Doctors in China remove 420 kidney stones from patient


Surgeons at Dongyang People’s Hospital removed 420 kidney stones from a patient in a two-hour surgery.

He Dong, a 55-year-old gypsum tofu lover, underwent a two-hour emergency surgery on his left kidney to remove 420 stones  by doctors in China at the Dongyang People’s hospital in Eastern Zhejiang Province.

Dong had informed doctors that he had been eating large amounts of gypsum tofu and that water was not part of his overall diet.

The doctors used forceps to remove one stone at a time.

“We spent 45 minutes just taking out the tiny stones. After the operation, my hands and legs were both numb,” said Dr Wei Yubin.

“I have worked as a doctor for 30 years and have never seen so many stones,” noted Dr Zhou Changchun, the surgeon on-duty.

Doctors at the hospital say it’s likely that his tofu-heavy diet, and a lack of water, is to blame.

“Soy products, especially local gypsum tofu, are very high in calcium sulfate, the excess of which cannot be excreted from the body without a sufficient intake of water,” says Dr Yubin.

Dong went to the doctor in May complaining about abdominal discomfort. In a subsequent CT scan, it was discovered that his left kidney was packed full of stones. The doctor says that if Dong had waited any longer, then his kidney would have had to be removed.

Dong has suffered from kidney stones in the past as well. About 20-years-ago, 10 stones were removed from him using a medical process called lithotripsy, which includes sending shock waves to break down stones into smaller stones that could pass via urine – the procedure is used for the bladder, kidney, or ureter stones.

Doctors have advised Dang to revise his eating habits and to reduce his tofu consumption.

While having 420 kidney stones sounds uncomfortable, it’s a long way off the world record. In 2009, a doctor in India removed 172,155 stones from a patient’s left kidney during a three-hour surgery, according to Guinness World Records.