Surgeons in a China removed more than 200 stones from a woman’s body in a single operation last week.
They claimed that the stones, found in the woman’s gallbladder and liver, were most likely caused by the fact that she had regularly skipped breakfast for more than a decade.
Some of the stones were as large as eggs, according to the Guangji Hospital in Hezhou.
The operation took place on July 15 and lasted six and a half hours, according to the hospital.
The patient has been described as 45-year-old Ms Chen, who makes a living by collecting rosin – a yellow or brown sticky substance that comes from pine trees.
Doctors from the Guangji Hospital in Hezhou also said that the woman had often eaten leftovers and had her meals at irregular hours.
It’s said that Ms Chen started experiencing abdominal pain more than 10 years ago.
Upon medical examination, she was advised by the doctors at the time to undergo surgery, but she didn’t agree to the operation because she was afraid of it.
Ms Chen was admitted into the Guangji Hospital last week after her abdominal pain had become ‘unbearable’.
Gallstones, formed in the gallbladder, are tiny crystals usually made of cholesterol. Liver stones are essentially the same, but are formed in the liver.
According to NHS, people who are overweight and over 40 years old, especially females, are more likely to suffer from gallstones.
Dieting and weight-loss surgery could also lead to the condition.
Dr Quan Xuwei is one of the surgeons who performed the operation.
He said many of his patients who suffered from gallstones liked skipping or rushing their breakfast.
According to Dr Quan, when a person doesn’t eat breakfast, their gallbladder would stop shrinking or expanding.
This could cause the bile to build up in the gallbladder, leading to high cholesterol and calcium levels.
However, experts in the UK have a different opinion.
Dr George Webster, the vice president of the British Society of Gastroenterology, said implicating particular dietary habit as the cause of gallstones or liver stones would be ‘pure speculation, with no scientific evidence base to support it’.
Dr Webster said stones in the gallbladder as well as the ducts in the liver were a common problem worldwide, but the cause is often unclear.
It is more common to find patients who have stones in the liver in China and Eastern Asia than in the West, and this is probably because of the increased rates of infection in the bile ducts, added Dr Webster.