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Thoracoscopic removal of dental prosthesis impacted in the upper thoracic esophagus

Luigi Bonavina*, Alberto Aiolfi, Stefano Siboni and Emanuele Rausa

Author Affiliations

Department of Biomedical Sciences for Health, Division of General Surgery, University of Milano Medical School, IRCCS Policlinico San Donato, Via Morandi 30, 20097, San Donato Milanese, (Milano), Italy

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World Journal of Emergency Surgery 2014, 9:5  doi:10.1186/1749-7922-9-5

Published: 14 January 2014


Dental appliances are the most common cause of accidental foreign body esophageal impaction, especially in the elderly population with decreased oral sensory perception. A 47-year-old man with history of oligophrenia and recurrent epileptic seizures was referred to our hospital following dislocation and ingestion of his upper dental prosthesis. Endoscopic removal and clipping of an esophageal tear had been unsuccessfully attempted. A chest CT scan confirmed entrapment of the dental prosthesis in the upper thoracic esophagus, the presence of pneumomediastinum, and the close proximity of one of the metal clasps of the prosthesis to the left subclavian artery. A video-assisted right thoracoscopy in the left lateral decubitus position was performed and the foreign body was successfully removed. The patient was then allowed to wear the retrieved prosthesis after dentistry consultation and repair of the wire clasps by a dental technician. At the 6-month follow-up visit the patient was doing very well without any trouble in swallowing.

Esophagus; Esophageal perforation; Dental prosthesis; Thoracoscopy