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Dentures Lost During Surgery Found Eight Days Later in Patient's Throat

By Tim Binnall

A jaw-dropping medical mistake uncovered in England saw an elderly man lose his dentures during a routine surgery and, eight days later, doctors discovered them lodged in his throat! The remarkable series of events reportedly began when the unnamed 72-year-old patient had a benign lump removed from his abdomen. The procedure seemingly went fine and the man was sent home to recover.

However, his health soon took a turn for the worse and he began experiencing significant pain in his throat and difficulty swallowing. After six days of suffering, he returned to the hospital to report the problems and was examined by emergency room doctors, who diagnosed him with a respiratory tract infection and suggested that the discomfort in his throat was simply irritation brought up from a breathing tube that had been used during his surgery while he was sedated.

When the medication prescribed by the doctors failed to alleviate the pain and, in fact, the man's ordeal got worse, went back to the emergency room two days later. At that point, doctors peered into the man's throat using an endoscope, which is a flexible tube containing a camera, and spotted "metallic semicircular object." Much to their surprise, when they asked the patient what that could have been, he mentioned that his dentures had gone missing during his surgery a few days earlier.

Fortunately, the doctors were able to remove the fake teeth from the man's throat and he has seemingly made a full recovery after a few setbacks seemingly related to the medical miscue. As for how this could have possibly happened, the reasoning given in a report on the incident indicated that there are "no set national guidelines on how dentures should be managed during anaesthesia" and the person who put the patient under either forgot to remove them or simply opted to leave them in his mouth thinking that this strange scenario would not occur.

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