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A Syrian man with abdominal pain
  1. Mary Chughtai1,
  2. Rigo Hoencamp1,2,3,
  3. Maarten Bronkhorst4
  1. 1Surgery, Leids Universitair Medisch Centrum, Leiden, The Netherlands
  2. 2Surgery, Alrijne Ziekenhuis Locatie Leiderdorp, Leiderdorp, The Netherlands
  3. 3Surgery, Nederland Ministerie van Defensie, Den Haag, The Netherlands
  4. 4Surgery, Medisch Centrum Haaglanden, Den Haag, The Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to Mr Rigo Hoencamp, r.hoencamp{at}


A 32-year-old man presented with progressive abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting after swallowing a packet of dollar bills, his entire money savings, during his journey to Europe as a refugee. Subsequent imaging confirmed the presence of a foreign body in his stomach, which required surgical intervention to be removed. This is one of many cases that illustrate the hopeless circumstances people in the Middle-Eastern warzone are currently facing.

  • Global Health
  • Surgery
  • Medical consequences of conflict
  • Migration and health
  • Gastrointestinal surgery

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  • Contributors Conception and design: MC, RH and MB. Acquisition of data: RH and MB. Interpretation of data: MC, RH and MB. Drafting the manuscript: MC and RH. Revision of the manuscript: RH and MB. Approval of the final version of the manuscript: MC, RH and MB.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Consent obtained from next of kin.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.