Tuba or Not Tuba, That Is the Question

Toward the end of January, Dr. Jenifer Wang had a very unusual patient on her endoscopy table. Toward the end of a slow afternoon, a woman walked into our office with a large black case and a strange request. The mother of two sons was desperately seeking help; she needed someone to save her son’s tuba from a one-way trip to the junkyard. As it turns out, while one of her sons was practicing the instrument for the school band, her other son decided to show his opinion of the music being played by throwing a plastic air freshener bottle toward his unsuspecting brother. Incredibly, he missed the mark of his brother’s head and the bottle went straight into the mouth of the brass instrument. Further inspection by the brothers showed that the bottle was lodged in the belly of the tuba. After fruitless trips to several music repair shops, their mother finally arrived at Encina, where her husband had suggested the use of our endoscope machine. Dr. Wang saved the day by using the grabber of the scope to free the tuba of it’s “foreign body,” saving the family from having to replace the costly instrument. It happened to be my day off, but I received a text from Dr. Wang that afternoon stating that she had “just scoped a tuba.” Thinking that “tuba” was a rare cat breed or perhaps that the animal belonged to a brass enthusiast, I asked for further explanation…and after seeing the pictures I wish I had been in the pre-op room for this one. Enjoy!

Lesette and our new "patient"

Dr. Wang removing the "foreign body"

The tuba on our pre-op table