Monday, February 9, 2009

A story without teeth

A 51 year old man complained of coughing fits whenever he ate and recurring chest infections. His X-rays were clear. There was no obvious cause of his illness. On questioning the patient further, it was revealed that 10 years previously he had swallowed his dentures. He had then gone to his doctor, told him that he had swallowed his dentures and now had difficulty swallowing food. An X-ray was performed, but with no metallic component to the dentures, nothing was found.

It was presumed that the dentures had passed through the digestive system as the man gradually recovered. A decade later the doctors now found the dentures lodged in his eosophagus. Over time they had perforated the throat and gone into his larynx allowing food particles to enter his lungs, explaining his frequent chest infections.

So, if you ever swallow your dentures, and nothing bites you on the bum, assume the lump in your throat is not from the sad story of your share portfolio.

(From: Diseases of the Esophagus 2006; 19: 53-55)

No comments: