Mumbai man accidently swallows denture during epileptic seizure, saved by docs

Last week doctors at KEM Hospital dealt with a patient in the emergency department who had accidentally swallowed his dentures due to an epileptic fit. They performed an emergency procedure to remove the dentures which was obstructing the man’s airway


Ajay Jog, (name changed) a 27-year-old man rushed to KEM hospital and admitted himself into the emergency department. While asleep, he suffered a seizure and upon waking he realised that he swallowed one of his dentures. He was having difficulties breathing and reached the hospital as fast as he could.

Speaking to My Medical Mantra about this emergency case, Dr Neelam Sathe, associate professor and unit head of the ENT department at KEM Hospital said, “At night, the patient has convulsions and he had an epileptic attack. The patient had come in around 2 a.m. to the hospital’s emergency department. He had problem breathing and was choking as well. The patient had a denture aspiration. On emergency basis, we had done X-rays and CT scan.”

Dr Sathe further explained, “Early morning, we took this patient on emergency basis for the removal of the dentures; we could see only the wire in the X-ray. A bronchoscopy is the procedure which is usually done for the removal of the aspirated foreign body. Bronchoscopy itself is a difficult procedure, because during the procedure also the patient can go into a bronchospasm and there is a risk to the patient’s life.”

Dr Sathe added, “We had managed this patient by a bronchoscopy and telescopy. Forceps were used to remove the foreign body, the foreign body was lying quite deep into the left bronchus and very carefully and gently, we removed the three teeth with the wire. During the procedure, the wire could have torn which would have caused trauma to the trachea or the bronchus which could have been life threatening to the patient.”

Dr Sathe further stated, “This incidences of foreign bodies are rare and they have to be treated on an urgent basis, so that the patient’s life can be saved.”

Speaking about the patient, Dr Sathe informed, “The patient is fine now, post-operative we had done an X-ray also. And there are no complaints of breathlessness, and the anaesthetics have done an excellent job, in spite of the patient having epilepsy.”

The dentures which were removed from the man;s throat
The dentures which were removed from the man’s throat

What is a bronchoscopy?

Bronchoscopy is an endoscopic technique of visualising the inside of the airways for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. An instrument is inserted into the airways, usually through the nose or mouth, or occasionally through a tracheostomy.

A bronchoscopy is a procedure which can help to diagnose, and sometimes to treat, conditions of the airways and lungs. It is usually performed as an outpatient or day case procedure.