Doctors discover wire from 10-year-old braces lodged in woman's stomach

Sarah Carty

In today’s gross medical discovery, dentists have revealed they found wire from a woman’s old braces lodged in her stomach.

Yes, you read that right; one woman had a random 7cm wire from her metal braces floating around in her stomach for 10 years.

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In a study published in the BMJ, Dr. Talia Shepherd said they only found the orthodontic wire after the now 30-year-old woman came into the emergency room saying she had severe stomach cramps.

This is the wire lodged in the woman's stomach. Photo: BMJ

The woman showed up at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital in Perth after experiencing the excruciating pain for two days.

While doctors initially believed that the cramps might have been down to a gallstone, a routine CT scan showed up something very different indeed.

“CT of the abdomen revealed a metallic wire-shaped foreign body at the mesenteric root of a small bowel volvulus,” the study read.

“The patient underwent an emergency laparotomy which discovered mid–small bowel ischaemia from a band adhesion related to the perforation of a 7 cm piece of orthodontic wire.”

The doctors discovered that the wire had pushed through numerous parts of her small intestine.

Amazingly, the patient didn’t have any recollection of the wire ever going missing and her dentist never noticed it either.

Speaking to Edition, Dr. Pat Raymond, a gastroenterologist at Eastern Virginia Medical School, said

"Usually, when people have an injury related to swallowing something, they remember accidentally swallowing it or intentionally swallowing it," he said.

The wire has been lodged in the woman's stomach for 10 years. Photo: Getty Images

"But that she doesn't remember getting a relatively large piece of wire down there a decade before is strange."

Dr. Talia Shepherd also told the publication that the chances of others swallowing a wire from their braces is “very low”.

"There might be a higher chance if you're sedated and undergo a dental procedure. But this is a very unusual case."

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