Man's false teeth get stuck in throat during surgery

Man's false teeth get stuck in throat during surgery

Man's false teeth get stuck in throat during surgery

According to one of the 72-year-old man's United Kingdom doctors, who wrote about the case in BMJ Case Reports on Monday, his trouble began soon after a successful and seemingly well-done surgery that removed a benign lump from inside his chest. However his symptoms and side effects pointed to a respiratory infection, which can be common for patients who have had a tube down their throat during surgery, so he was prescribed steroids, antibiotics and mouthwash and sent home.

An X-ray shows dentures in a senior's throat.

The object turned out to be the man's missing dentures, which had gotten lodged in his throat during the surgery. Doctors need to listen carefully to their patients and build a timeline of what happened rather than relying heavily on scans and tests, said Dr. Rui Amaral Mendes, an associate editor of BMJ Case Reports, which published the paper Monday. He was discharged from hospital six days later.

He underwent repeated hospital visits, more surgery and blood transfusions to correct the complications from the routine abdominal surgery.

The unidentified 72-year-old repeatedly returned to doctors after his op, complaining of agonizing pain in his throat, blood in his mouth and shortness of breath, according to a medical report.

However, two days later, he returned to the hospital for a third time, this time with worsening symptoms that left him unable to swallow the medication he had been given.

According to the authors, there was no guideline about having to remove dentures before surgery.

When the man again returned two days later, medical staff looked at his throat and voice box - and found a semi-circular object lying across his vocal cords.

Bouts of bleeding brought him back to the hospital a week later, and then 10 days after that.

By the time surgeons cauterised the wound in his throat, he had lost so much blood he needed a blood transfusion. A check-up six weeks after his last surgery found that his blood cell count had climbed back to normal and he hadn't needed any other emergency care since.

The man thought his dentures were lost while he was in the hospital for minor surgery.

Hazel Stuart, James Paget University Hospital Medical Director, said: "We had an incident in 2018 and as soon as it was identified the patient was advised and an apology provided by the clinical lead".

The authors of the report state that this is not the first instance of dentures being inhaled while anaesthetic is being administered.

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 add.

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