Sunday, 25 August, 2019

Pensioner spends a week with dentures stuck in throat after surgery mishap

An X-ray of the man's throat where his dentures were stuck An X-ray of the man's throat where his dentures were stuck
Samantha Long | 14 August, 2019, 12:14

The 72-year-old anonymous man had undergone an operation to remove a harmless lump in his abdominal wall, but he had to return to the unnamed hospital six days later after finding it hard and painful to swallow food, while he also had blood in his mouth.

Because he had lost so much blood, he also required a blood transfusion.

The man had minor surgery to remove a lump in his abdominal wall.

He complained of blood in the mouth, difficulty swallowing, and pain so intense that he couldn't eat solid food.

The BMJ Case Reports medical journal has revealed how doctors initially sent him home prescribing mouthwash, antibiotics and steroids to treat the suspected effects of having a tube down his throat, but two days later he returned with worsening symptoms.

Experts have warned that leaving dentures in when undergoing anaesthetic could result in further hospital visits, invasive tests and even more surgery if they do end up somewhere they're not supposed to be.

But he didn't improve and was admitted to the hospital just two days later.

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Following the removal, the man returned for a check-up six weeks later, where they found no problems from the denture-ordeal. And that's when the man revealed that his partial dentures had mysteriously gotten lost about a week earlier.

Though doctors soon removed the clandestine throat teeth with forceps, the man's suffering wasn't over yet.

The case report says there are not national guidelines in the United Kingdom about what should be done with dentures before an operation, and multiple US-based care providers only recommend informing your doctor that you wear dentures before an operation.

"The presence of any false teeth or dental plates should be clearly documented before and after any surgical procedure, with all members of the surgical team made aware of what is to be done with them", they wrote, according to SWNS.

X-rays confirmed this was the foreign body lodged in his throat - he was taken for emergency surgery to remove them and discharged after a further six days in hospital. It turned out that an artery had been torn in the wound.

Cunniffe, the report's author, wrote that the man's case "highlights a number of key learning points for anesthetists, theatre staff, emergency physicians and ear, nose and throat (ENT) surgeons alike", but noted that it is not the first of its kind. Cunniffe was able to find at least 83 such cases reported during a 15-year-span, including one case that tragically ended in death.

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