Missing dentures found stuck in throat 8 days after surgery

The false teeth were spotted in the man's throat

The false teeth were spotted in the man's throat Credit BMJ Case Reports

A 72-year-old man had his dentures lodged in his throat for eight days after he aspirated them during surgery. He told doctors he hadn't been able to swallow any of his prescribed medicines.

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

Believing he had pneumonia, the pensioner was given another chest X-ray, only for it to reveal an object lying across his vocal cords and pressing against a part of the throat. The article did not identify the man or the hospital.

As it turns out, before the denture incident, the man recently had surgery to remove a benign lump from his abdominal wall.

He was rushed into surgery and then remained in the hospital for another six days.

But he returned two days later with worsening symptoms and was admitted to the hospital.

His fifth trip to the emergency room revealed blistering in his throat surrounded by "wound tissue", which was cauterised to prevent further bleeding.

The man had to have a blood transfusion he lost so much blood.

Upon returning to the hospital, doctors discovered that he had inhaled his dentures during surgery.

As tests revealed the bleeding had stopped, he was sent home, only to reappear 10 days later with the same problem. He returned nine days later with more bleeding caused by a torn artery in the wound. While it's perfectly normal for people to take their dentures out while they sleep at night, people may be less inclined to do so for visits to the GP or with health professionals due to fears of embarrassment.

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 medical journal report states that this is not the first time dentures have been inhaled while a patient is under aesthetic.

It has lead to calls for the presence of any false teeth or dental plates to 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.

An elderly British man thought his false teeth somehow fell out of his mouth during stomach surgery - just to find out they were lodged in his throat for eight days. The new case report highlights the fact that doctors should be cautious to note any prosthetics a patient who is going into surgery has.

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