According to one of the 72-year-old man's United Kingdom doctors, who wrote about the case in BMJ Case Reports on Monday, his trouble began soon after a successful and seemingly well-done surgery that removed a benign lump from inside his chest.
6 days after the operation, the man went to the hospital's emergency room complaining of blood in his mouth along with difficulties breathing and swallowing, making him unable to eat solid food. However his symptoms and side effects pointed to a respiratory infection, which can be common for patients who have had a tube down their throat during surgery, so he was prescribed steroids, antibiotics and mouthwash and sent home. Pictured, an X-ray of the man's neck.
Over the next six weeks, however, his tissue healed, he did not require any more emergency care, and his blood count returned to normal, according to the August 12 BMJ Case Reports.
However his symptoms worsened and, after two days of taking the prescribed medication, he was admitted to hospital with what doctors believed to be aspiration pneumonia - a severe chest infection that occurs when food, stomach acid or saliva is inhaled into the lungs. However, after six days, he had started to feel some pain and was struggling to swallow, so returned to A&E.
He underwent repeated hospital visits, more surgery and blood transfusions to correct the complications from the routine abdominal surgery.
"He was also feeling short of breath, particularly when lying down, and had taken to sleeping upright", Harriet Cunniffe, an ear, nose and throat surgeon at Universities Hospitals NHS in Yarmouth noted.
X-rays confirmed this was the foreign body lodged in his throat - he was taken for emergency surgery to remove them and discharged after a further six days in hospital.
But six days later a bout of bleeding prompted his return.
Tests revealed he had internal wound tissue around the site of the blistering which was cauterised to prevent further bleeding.
But by this time the patient had lost so much blood that he required a blood transfusion. The man and the hospital weren't identified. He returned nine days later with more bleeding caused by a torn artery in the wound.
The presence of any false teeth or dental plates should be clearly documented before and after any surgical procedure, with all members of the surgical team made aware of what is to be done with them, they add.
The wild case highlights the need to remove false teeth before going under anesthetic, the report states.
"As a result of this, processes have been reviewed, amended as necessary, and the lessons learnt have been shared with staff", she said.