An Indian doctor was astonished to remove a staggering 11,950 gallstones from a patient - and is thought to be a new world record.
Dr Makhan Lala Saha, a gastrointestinal endosurgeon, removed the stones from the gall bladder of Minati Mondal, 51, in a milestone surgery.
Mondal had been suffering from chronic abdominal pain and acid reflux for two months, and was admitted to Debdoot Sevayan Hospital in Kolkata, West Bengal, in eastern India two weeks ago.
After conducting tests and ultrasounds, doctors found she was suffering from a severe case of gallstones.
Dr Saha, who removed the huge cluster in an hour-long laparoscopic surgery, said he was anticipating large number of stones but was still shocked when the number crossed the 5,000 mark.
He said: "I was astonished to see the large number of stones that we extracted from the gall bladder of this patient. I had never thought that a gall bladder could contain so many stones.
"It took my assistants four hours to count the number of the stones that were between 2mm and 5mm in size. It took us 50 minutes to remove them."
The doctor has written to the Royal College of Pathologists in London to keep the specimen in the museum.
And it is now thought the huge amount of gallstones removed could be a new world record.
Dr Saha added: "Two months ago, I had operated on a girl who had 1,110 stones but despite the shocking number, I found that in 1983, doctors in Britain had removed 3,110 stones from a German patient's gall bladder.
"But I feel this number can replace the past record since the current number is three times more than the record."
Mondal was discharged from the hospital two days ago and is now recovering at home.
According to NHS, gallstones are small stones, usually made of cholesterol, that form in the gallbladder. They are very common and estimated to affect one in 10 adults in the UK, but in most cases they do not develop symptoms and do not need to be treated.
However, if a gallstone becomes trapped in a duct (opening) inside the gallbladder it can trigger a sudden intense abdominal pain that usually lasts between one and five hours. This type of abdominal pain is known as biliary colic.
For more information, visit the NHS website.Suggest a correction