Brace yourselves, a woman who has not been wearing braces for 10 years discovered to have a dental wire stuck inside her small intestine.
The 30-year-old unidentified patient discovered this odd thing inside her body when she went to Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital in Western Australia complaining of cramping and severe abdominal pain.
The doctors initially thought that her pain was just related to her bladder and was released immediately after the pain alleviated. But two days after, she went back to the emergency room complaining of the same extreme pain.
When doctors decided to have a CT scan on her stomach, they found out that there is an object punctured in several places inside the woman’s small intestines. The small intestines are the once responsible for absorbing nutrients and letting non-absorbed food to pass the large intestine.
bracAccording to Dr. Talia Shepherd, one of the treating physicians, they first thought it was a fish bone, “After looking at the CT scan, at first we thought it was a fish bone, because that’s a pretty common thing to find in the stomach. But when we went to ask the patient if she remembered swallowing anything, she had no recollection.”
Since the woman’s intestine got pierced in multiple spots and had twisted around on itself, it led to a condition called volvulus. Doctors then decided to perform a surgery to remove the wire inside the woman’s body.
After the surgery, they discovered that what’s inside her stomach was actually 7-centimeter long piece of wire presumably from her braces, despite the fact that she has been brace-free for the past 10 years.
While it is extremely shocking, Shepherd said that braces users should not worry as this is a very unusual case as the dental wire went unnoticed for 10 years. She said, “I think it was probably just sitting there in her stomach the whole time, and then when the small bowel was punctured, that’s when the pain started. The chances of swallowing a wire from your braces is very low. There might be a higher chance if you’re sedated and undergo a dental procedure. But this is a very unusual case.”
So next time you had your braces removed, be sensitive about anything that you could possibly swallow.