Medicine

Man’s missing dentures found in his throat eight days after surgery

Man’s missing dentures found in his throat eight days after surgery

He was discharged from hospital six days later.

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

When the doctors mentioned the object to the man, he said that his dentures had gone missing after his surgery eight days earlier.

The retired electrician had undergone a minor operation to remove a benign abdominal wall lump, but returned to A&E six days later coughing up blood and with a throat so painful he had been unable to swallow solid food since being under general aesthetic.

The authors recommend carefully documenting the presence of dentures and other prosthetics both before and after any surgery to make sure that they are accounted for.

The man was rushed to surgery, where the dentures were removed.

While examining his throat, doctors found "a metallic semicircular object overlying the vocal cords and completely obstructing their view".

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. However, he returned a number of times over the next few weeks because of bleeding.

The metal plate with three front teeth had been causing internal blistering and swelling.

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Tests revealed he had internal wound tissue around the site of the blistering which was cauterised to prevent further bleeding.

Two days later he returned with worsening symptoms.

For their part, patients should tell their doctors about mouth problems before surgery, said Mendes, an oral surgeon at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.

But the hospital still hadn't seen the last of him.

The man reportedly required several blood transfusions due to a tear in one of his arteries. The man was rushed into another emergency surgery to fix the artery and appeared to recover well from the procedure, the report said.

In a 2016 study of 83 cases where dentures ended up in a person's airways, six cases occurred while the patient was under general anesthesia.

The authors of the BMJ report states that there are no guidelines about how to properly remove dentures before surgery, with dentures left in place making for "a better seal during induction, and many hospitals leave them in until the patient is intubated".

However, all members of the surgical team need to know what's to be done with a patient's dentures, Cunniffe and her colleagues said.


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