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Woman Has Wire From Braces Removed From Intestine

A woman went to the doctor complaining of stomach pain, was treated and sent home. Doctors believed it was just due to something common, such as gallstones. But when the woman returned to the hospital, the medical staff decided to not take any chances.

They sent the woman for a CT scan, and what they found was not what they were expecting.

A woman from Perth, Australia was rushed into emergency surgery after doctors discovered a wire from her old braces was lodged in her intestine. The woman says she did have braces as a teen, but now at age 30, they'd been removed more than 10 years ago.

The woman's stomach pain at first was thought to be something ordinary, but when she returned complaining that her cramps were getting worse, doctors became worried. The doctors at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital sent her to have a stomach scan and were shocked to see a wire-shaped object in her gut.

The woman was rushed into emergency surgery and the doctors carefully removed a piece of wire from her intestines. They determined that the piece of metal was orthodontic wire.

The wire had pierced through several parts of the woman's small intestines, causing considerable pain. The result was that the organ twisted around itself.

One surgeon says they were shocked when they discovered the cause of her pain. “We were all a bit dumbfounded,” said Dr. Talia Shepherd, to Popular Science. “It wasn’t what I was expecting to find at all.”

After surgery, the patient told the doctors that she did have braces at one time, but doesn't remember a wire going missing, or swallowing any hardware.

After the piece of orthodontia was removed, the patient made a full recovery. The case was odd enough to be written up in the British Medical Journal. Dr. Shepherd said it was amazing that the wire had remained in the woman's body so long without doing even more damage.

“People normally present much earlier,” Shepherd noted. “Kind of right after they’ve swallowed it or when it’s in the stomach really, because that’s obviously where it has a high risk of causing a perforation.”

Surgeons should be used to finding strange things inside people. It's actually not that uncommon. One man who had been suffering from a cough and breathing problems for months thought he had lung cancer, but a scan showed he had a plastic fork inside him.

Another man in China was having problems breathing, and surgeons pulled a pen cap out of his shriveled lung. The cap had been there for decades, ever since his school days.

In one instance, a soldier was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade in an ambush. The grenade lodged inside of the man's abdomen and remained live. Surgeons and a bomb squad had to remove it.

And just about every doctor who has worked in an emergency room has come across a patient who put something in an orifice, such as a jar, a hot dog, or, in one woman’s case, a rolled-up Donny Osmond poster.

Source: HuffPost
Photo: Dr. Talia Shepherd, Monica Y Garza, Osan Air Base

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