Pencil removed from German's head

An x-ray showing a pencil in a brainA woman in Germany who has spent 55 years with part of a pencil inside her head has finally had it removed.

Margret Wegner fell over carrying the pencil when she was four. It punctured her cheek and part of it went into her brain, above the right eye. The 59-year-old has suffered headaches and nosebleeds for most of her life.

Surgeons in Berlin were able to remove most of the pencil in a two-hour operation, but a 2cm section was so embedded it was impossible to remove.

Professor Hans Behrbohm, a specialist in endoscopic sinus surgery at the Berlin-Weissensee clinic, carried out the operation and said Mrs Wegner was now mobile and not experiencing any pain.

"The central part of the foreign body was encapsulated in soft tissue and was not causing the patient any harm, so it was safe to leave it," he told the BBC News website.

"She no longer has a headache and will be able to smell again. Her olfactory senses had been blocked by polyps."

The pencil measured 8cm (3.1 inches) long, and had narrowly missed damaging an optical nerve. At the time of the accident doctors said it would be too dangerous to operate because it was so close to the brain.

Link & Image: BBC
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