Man inhaled his DENTURES after being given general anaesthetic

A man spent eight days with his dentures stuck in his throat, after he inhaled them during an operation.

The 72-year-old was having surgery to remove a harmless lump in his stomach, and was given anaesthetic with a face mask just before. 

The unidentified patient believed his dentures, which consisted of a metal roof plate and three false teeth, had been lost during his time at the hospital.

He went to hospital six days after the surgery, complaining of difficulty swallowing, pain and blood in his mouth. 

But doctors were not initially concerned and sent the retired electrician - who ended up needing emergency surgery - home with antibiotics.

The man returned to A&E two days later with the same symptoms, with tests then revealing the dentures were lodged in his voice box.  

A man inhaled his dentures after being given a general anaesthetic and they weren¿t discovered until eight days later. Pictured, the x-ray showing the dentures in his voice box

A man inhaled his dentures after being given a general anaesthetic and they weren't discovered until eight days later. Pictured, the x-ray showing the dentures in his voice box

The unidentified man believed his teeth had been lost during his time at the hospital, when in fact they were lodged in throat (pictured)

The unidentified man believed his teeth had been lost during his time at the hospital, when in fact they were lodged in throat (pictured)

Doctors at James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Great Yarmouth, said this wasn't the first case of its kind.

At least six other similar cases of dentures being inhaled by patients after being given anaesthetic have been reported.

Writing in BMJ Case Reports, doctors told how the man had turned up at A&E, with his symptoms preventing him from eating solid food.

Nothing in his test results prompted them to consider anything was wrong, other than a respiratory infection.

They also believed his symptoms could be the side effects of having had a tube down his throat during his operation.

He was therefore prescribed mouthwash, antibiotics and steroids, and sent home. Two days later he returned with worsening symptoms.

Dr Harriet Cunniffe and colleagues said he had been unable to swallow any of the medicine he had been prescribed and his voice had become hoarse.

He was also feeling short of breath, particularly when lying down, and had resorted to sleeping upright on the sofa.

HOW COMMON IS IT FOR DENTURES TO BE INHALED?

Patients have inhaled foreign bodies into their throat during both dentistry and anaesthesia.

Teeth, a latex glove and a dentures have been inhaled by patients, and on one occasion, swallowing dentures ended in death, according to doctors from James Paget University Hospitals NHS

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