(GLENDALE, Calif.) -- A 63-year-old Glendale, Calif., man is recuperating at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center after he tried to operate on his bulging hernia with a butter knife.
Police arrived on the scene to find him naked and reclined in a lounge chair on his patio, with a 6-inch butter knife sticking out of his abdomen, smoking a cigarette. Sgt. Tom Lorenz of the Glendale Police Department told ABCNews.com that when the man pulled out the knife and as he waited for the paramedics stuck the cigarette into his wound, perhaps to "cauterize" it.
Dr. Jonathan Yunis, who performs more than 500 hernia operations a year, said the man, whose name has not been released, could have seriously injured himself.
"There is some confusion that people think you remove a hernia, but you don't. You repair a hernia," Yunis explained.
Because of this misconception, Yunis said the man may have been trying to remove his intestines, which could have proved fatal. "It would be interesting to learn what he actually managed to get done," he said.
The man's name has not been released, since he is being held on a 72-hour, involuntary psychiatric hold.
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