This one’s hard to swallow.
Australian doctors found a three-inch piece of wire in the stomach of a woman who had been complaining of stomach pain — the remnants of braces that were removed from her teeth a decade earlier.
Doctors originally assumed the pain was related to the unnamed woman’s gallbladder and sent her home.
But when the woman, 30, returned with more pain, they did a CAT scan and discovered what looked like a fish bone — a common blockage. But further investigation by Dr. Talia Shepherd revealed that the braces wire had pierced the intestines, causing them to twist around themselves.
“I think it was probably just sitting there … the whole time,” Shepherd told CNN. “And then when the small bowel was punctured, that’s when the pain started.”
The patient underwent surgery and the wire was removed with no further issues.
It’s unclear when the woman’s braces dropped the wire or if the piece was clipped during braces tightening or removal. The woman said she didn’t remember swallowing the part or feeling it go down. She also did not notice three inches of wire missing from the braces.
Swallowing braces wire is not very common, said Shephard, who wrote up the sensational case for BMJ Case Reports medical journal.