"They call me the hardware store," says Requelme Abanto from his hospital bed in northern Peru. Doctors in the city of Cajamarca said they removed 1.5 pounds of metal from Abanto's stomach, including nails, coins, and rusted copper wire and scrap metal.
Cajamarca hospital surgeon Carlos Delgado told The Associated Press on Wednesday that he's never seen anything like what he found in last week's operation.
"We went in thinking it could be appendicitis, but weren't we surprised by what we found _ a hole in his stomach," Delgado said.
Delgado said specialists are examining Abanto's mental health as he recovers.
The 26-year-old construction worker ate the metal for months, and told Peru's Channel 9 television that he may now do it in public "as sport."
"I swallowed 17 nails in February and didn't die," he said. "Five-inch nails, all in one day."