Braces Wire Swallowed A Decade Earlier Causes Woman's Stomach Pain

A piece of a dental wire perforated several spots in a woman's small intestine

It was only discovered after she was admitted to hospital following two days of worsening stomach pain, explain doctors in the online journal BMJ Case Reports.

The woman, who is in her 30s, went to her local hospital in Australia complaining about cramping and serious abdominal pain.

At first, doctors thought the pain was caused by her gall bladder and sent her home after it stopped.

"She was so unwell that we had to take her to theatre straight away to extract whatever it was, and it turned out to be a seven-centimetre piece of orthodontic wire from braces she had 10 years earlier". A C-T scan revealed something had punctured several places in her intestine.

Though the 30-year-old woman had no memory of swallowing the wire at the time of her braces removal, she eventually felt its presence. The woman had no recollection of ever swallowing or missing a part of her braces. The cause: that long-forgotten wire puncturing her small intestine, a condition called "volvulus". Often, patients come to the emergency room with such stomach pain after swallowing fish bones which then perforate the bowels.

She pointed out that the case was a rare occurrence.

Fortunately, the wire didn't cause any severe damage to the woman's stomach. "There might be a higher chance if you're sedated and undergo a dental procedure", Shepherd said.

Gastroenterologist and professor of medicine Dr.

"But if people swallow batteries, children swallow magnets, or sharp objects like razor blades or packages of cocaine, that's where we get involved to actively remove them", Bell added.



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