Missing dentures found stuck in UK man’s throat

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

Missing dentures found stuck in UK man’s throat

But, two days later, the retired electrician returned to A&E with worsening symptoms - unable to swallow any of the medicine he was admitted with suspected pneumonia.

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. 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. Upon further investigation, doctors discovered a semi-circular object lying across the patient's vocal cord - which had caused internal blistering. He was constantly finding blood in his mouth, while also experiencing throat pain and trouble swallowing.

A man's false teeth were stuck in his throat for eight days after he "inhaled" them during a routine operation, it has emerged.


Six days after he had an operation on a benign lump in his abdomen the man needed medical attention once more. The man and the hospital weren't identified.

"There are no set national guidelines on how dentures should be managed during anesthesia", Cunniffe wrote, adding that many hospitals allow false teeth to be left in place until right before a patient is intubated.

When this was explained to him, the man revealed that his dentures, which consisted of a metal roof plate and three false teeth, had been lost during his previous hospital stay.

But six days later a bout of bleeding prompted his return. Loose teeth could be knocked down the throat when tubes are put into the airway. During one visit, doctors estimated he had lost 1.5 liters of blood, or about three pints. The man was rushed into another emergency surgery to fix the artery and appeared to recover well from the procedure, the report said.

According to the report, a check-up a week after the procedure showed the tissue was healing, and six weeks after that the man had not needed further emergency care.

"In addition to reminding us of the risks of leaving dentures in during induction of anaesthesia when the Swiss cheese model of errors aligns, this case also highlights a number of important learning points", the authors pointed out. The most likely scenario is that the man had inhaled them when he was intubated. 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.

While the chest X-ray and bloodwork indicated a respiratory infection, the tests "acted as a distraction", she wrote.

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