These are the sharp and hooked false teeth accidentally swallowed by an elderly patient who waited so long to be seen by doctors that her dentures had to be fished out of her bowels.
Ms Zhang, 68, is said to have been admitted to Daxing Hospital in Xi’an, capital of Shaanxi Province in north-western China, some seven hours after ingesting her dentures – that have sharp hooks on them so they can easily affix to her gums – while eating a bowl of congee, or rice porridge, on 30th December last year.
Lin Tao, head of the facility’s gastroenterology department, told local media: “The female patient was eating in a hurry and drinking rice porridge.
“When her dentures came loose, she accidentally swallowed them.
“By the time she arrived, it had been about six or seven hours since she ate them.
“That was already a bit late. The teeth were in the bottom right of her stomach.”
An analysis of Ms Zhang’s CT scans suggested the dentures were nearing her small intestines, but a subsequent endoscopy revealed they were far deeper than first anticipated.
Doctor Lin said: “During the gastroscopy, we couldn’t find the dentures in her oesophagus or stomach.
“In the end we saw the false teeth at the bottom of her duodenum.”
Doctor Lin noted that the duodenum, which is the first part of the small intestine, was the farthest their endoscope could reach.
He added: “There were two to three more challenging sections when removing the dentures. The first was the pylorus, which is very narrow and contracted.
“The false teeth had metal hooks on either side, so it would’ve been very easy to cut her intestines.”
The dentures, which measured 3.5 centimetres (1.4 inches) long, were retrieved in just over 10 minutes.
Ms Zhang is expected to make a full recovery.
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