Endoscopic Removal of Impacted Partial Dentures in Oesophagus (Food Pipe)

Removable dentures in the elderly may get swallowed inside during the process of eating and sleeping without removing them. We present here such a case of dentures impacted in the esophagus managed through an endoscope inserted into the food pipe (esophagoscopy) after an accidental swallowing of dentures which impacted the oesophagus, a patient was referred to Dr. Sanajy Helale, Head of Department, Kohinoor Hospital; the patient had been unable to swallow anything since the time and was also in pain. He was then subjected to Fibre Optic Flexible Oesophagoscopy ( a type of endoscopy where a special flexible tube is inserted into the food pipe via the mouth to diagnose and relieve all such food blockages).

Dentures differ from many commonly swallowed external objects by the fact that they often have sharp edges that can get stuck in the food pipe causing trauma to its walls. Here, the denture was dis impacted and displaced down towards the abdomen, and then it was rotated and removed catching hold of the sharp edges to prevent any trauma on its way out.

Impacted dentures have the potential to cause many complications, if not removed at the earliest. In earlier times, the method used to remove foreign bodies was their extraction through a rigid metallic esophagoscope. Since 1970s and 1980s, Flexible Oesophagoscopy has been a simpler and better option.

In our patient, the impacted denture was a recent one. Hence, Fiber Optic Flexible Oesophagoscopy was possible in this case. An impacted denture for prolonged period would have made flexible endoscopic extraction impossible then the rigid endoscopic removal under general anesthesia failing which thoracotomy operation is required.