A 71 year old man had a whole set of medical complications. He had kidney disease and he recently got a lung transplant. This transplant weakened the motor function of the muscles around the stomach that assist in digestion by churning the stomach and getting the food to move to the duodenum. Since his stomach muscles weren’t functioning properly a bezoar formed. This was a solid mass of food the body failed to digest which accumulated in his stomach. It had already reached 7 cm in diameter about 3 inches.
This patient suffered from weight loss and constant uncontrollable vomiting. Doctors twice tried to remove the bezoar with an endoscope which is far less invasive than a surgical operation. They could see the mass with fiber optics and tried hooking it into a wire basket to pull the mass back up through the mouth but they failed to get it out.
After twice failing the next option was an invasive surgery. But before taking that step Dr. Lissi, the Head of the Neuro-Gastroenterology and Pelvic Floor Department at Shaarei Zedek Hospital was consulted. He had the idea that coca cola would dissolve the obstructing mass. Dr. Lissi explained: “Medical literature from 2002 writes of a Greek doctor named Dr. Ladas who saw an auto repair worker who would drop bolts into cola to remove the rust. He used cola on his patients with success and since then more and more testimony shows it an effective method of dissolving stomach obstructions.”
‘You can get similar results when using the enzyme Papain derived from the papaya plant. This enzyme dissolves proteins and melts away obstructions. However in complex and urgent situations, cola is more effective,” says Dr. Lissi.
Only 2 days after getting treated with cola the obstruction started shrinking. “In our case since he had poor kidney function we had to keep an eye on his kidney function and salt levels in his blood.” After 3 days the mass totally disappeared and in follow-ups over the past 3 years there are no signs of it returning.
Doctors are quick to warn the public not to self-medicate with cola to remove obstructions. “Treatment with cola must be with medical observation. The dose used for dissolving an obstruction is 2-3 liters a day for a minimum of 3 days up to even 2 weeks, in a hospital with medical observation to make sure it’s working,” says Dr. Lissi.