Dentures missing after surgery found in senior's throat

Man’s missing false teeth found stuck in throat 8 days after surgery

Man’s missing false teeth found stuck in throat 8 days after surgery

The 72-year-old British man had an operation in which he was getting a lump taken out of his abdominal wall.

After six days, he discovered that his mouth was filling with blood and that he was finding it hard to swallow.

Doctors initially suspected his symptoms were the result of a respiratory infection, possibly mixed with the after-effects of having been intubated during the surgery. The man in question experienced considerable pain, bleeding and difficulty swallowing, with an article in the BMJ Case Reports Journal explaining he also required repeated hospital visits, additional invasive tests, blood transfusions and more surgery, after failing to remove his false teeth before going under.

But when a new set of doctors actually looked inside the man's throat, after the man again complained about his symptoms, they quickly spotted something lodged across his larynx.

Doctors were concerned that he had developed pneumonia from inhaling something and admitted him to the hospital.

"But it is known that leaving dentures in during bag-mask ventilation allows for a better seal during induction, and therefore, many hospitals allow dentures to be removed immediately before intubation, as long as this is clearly documented". However, it was reported that the medical staff failed to remove his dentures before the procedure began.

Doctors then discovered he had a semi-circular object lying across his vocal chords, which had caused internal swelling and blistering.

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Six days later, he was in the emergency room. A trip to the X-ray provided confirmation and the man was whisked off to the operating room, where the dentures were plucked out with a pair of forceps.

Well, we're glad that this man managed to completely recover from this ordeal!

A 15-year review of more than 80 cases worldwide in which dentures ended up in airways found six instances that occurred when people were under general anesthesia, according to research published in 2016 in the Journal of Oral & Maxillofacial Research.

Thinking the problem was over, he was shocked to find that nine days after he was again discharged, he returned with even more bleeding and needed more emergency surgery.

A check-up a week after this procedure showed that the tissue was healing well, and six weeks later he had not needed further emergency care and his blood count was back to normal.

"Listen to the story the patient is telling you and do not be distracted by positive findings on investigations", Cunniffe wrote.

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