Missing dentures found stuck in throat 8 days after surgery

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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, six days later he returned to the emergency department complaining of blood in his mouth, swallowing difficulties and pain, which prevented him from eating solid food. Pictured, an X-ray of the man's neck.

A British man who lost his dentures for more than a week finally found them - with help from some doctors and X-ray machines.

Noting a history of lung problems, doctors assumed he had a respiratory infection, according to BMJ Case Reports, a medical journal that describes medically noteworthy cases.

Six days after he had an operation on a benign lump in his abdomen the man needed medical attention once more.

They prescribed mouthwash and antibiotics, and sent him on his way.

But he returned two days later with worsening symptoms and was admitted to the hospital with suspected aspiration pneumonia-a severe chest infection.

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

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During this hospital stay, a closer look at his throat and voice box revealed a semi-circular object lying across his vocal cords causing internal swelling and blistering.

"There are no set national guidelines on how dentures should be managed during anaesthesia, but it is known that leaving dentures in during bag-mask ventilation allows for a better seal during induction (when the anaesthetic is being infused), and therefore many hospitals allow dentures to be removed immediately before intubation (when a tube is inserted into the airway to assist breathing)", study said.

But six days later a bout of bleeding prompted his return. Tests revealed that he had internal wound tissue around the site of the blistering which was cauterised to prevent further bleeding. It turned out that an artery had been torn in the wound.

But by this time the patient had lost so much blood that he required a blood transfusion.

This isn't the first documented case of dentures being inhaled while a patient is under general anesthetic, the authors noted.

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".

"As a result of this, processes have been reviewed, amended as necessary, and the lessons learnt have been shared with staff", she said.

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