Published: Tue, August 13, 2019
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

Man's false teeth get stuck in throat during surgery

Man's false teeth get stuck in throat during surgery

But when emergency room doctors examined the back of the man's throat, they found nothing unusual.

Doctors told him he had a lower respiratory tract infection, according to the report, and sent him home with medication. The man previously thought that the dentures had simply been misplaced at the hospital during the operation.

The man's case brings attention to the risks of leaving dentures in the mouths of patients undergoing surgeries that require general anesthesia, wrote the article's author, Harriet A. Cunniffe, an otolaryngologist at James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in the United Kingdom.

Here's why it's best to remove false teeth before surgery: You just might swallow them.

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


The dentures were removed in emergency surgery, but the patient - whose original op was to remove a lump in his abdominal wall - had several bouts of severe bleeding over the next six months because of damage to his throat, before making a full recovery, the report says.

Two days later, he returned to A&E after his symptoms appeared to get worse - he was unable to swallow any of the medicine he was admitted with suspected pneumonia. He was also having a hard time breathing, especially when he laid down, which forced him to start sleeping sitting upright on his couch.

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When the doctors mentioned the object to the man, he said that his dentures had gone missing after his surgery eight days earlier. Loose teeth could be knocked down the throat when tubes are put into the airway.

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

Awesome x-ray images clearly show the dentures - a metal roof plate and three false teeth - lodged in his throat.

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

Aside from experiencing considerable pain, bleeding, and swallowing difficulties, the oversight led to repeated hospital visits, additional invasive tests, blood transfusions, and eventually more surgery.

The man also required a blood transfusion because he had lost so much blood. The average adult has between nine and 12 pints of blood circulating inside their body, according to Live Science.

Cunniffe wrote that the report "highlights a number of important learning points" for medical professionals. He later passed the false teeth through his digestive system, the article said. 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.

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