A bed-ridden elderly man from Greater Tainan who accidentally swallowed his lower denture was spared the torment of a possible surgical procedure thanks to the help of medical practitioners who manually extracted the object from the man’s anus by gently massaging his abdomen.
The 78-year-old man’s family members noticed the disappearance of the man’s denture on Thursday.
However, they did not take him to a hospital or seek immediate medical help because they assumed the object had fallen somewhere behind the man’s bed.
They said that the possibility of the elderly man swallowing the denture had crossed their minds, but they dismissed the idea after failing to detect the object in the man’s excrement for two consecutive days.
The whereabouts of the missing denture was later determined by family doctor Ko Chun-hung (柯俊宏) and home care nurse Kang Hui-ting (康慧婷) from Chi Mei Hospital’s Chiali Branch in the city’s Chiali District (佳里), who paid a routine visit to the man on Friday and suspected that the man could have accidentally ingested the item.
Ko then decided to perform a rectal examination on the 78-year-old, during which he detected with his gloved finger an object likely to be the missing denture.
As the denture was found in the man’s anal passage, but could not be extracted on the spot, Ko instructed Kang to conduct abdominal massage to stimulate the man’s bowel movements, while he carefully removed the object.