Cause of Woman's Stomach Pain Leaves Doctors 'Dumbfounded'

A piece of a dental wire perforated several spots in a woman's small intestine

A woman in Australia has had a piece of dental wire removed from her small intestine despite having had her braces removed ten years ago.

The wire, which measured seven centimeters in length, had punctured several holes in her small intestine. In a write-up published to BMJ Case Reports, the doctor explained that a "previously well 30-year-old" had showed up to the ER "complaining of worsening central abdominal pain". Once the pain ended, she was sent home.

Dr. Talia Shepherd, who treated the woman, said the chances of swallowing a wire from your braces were extremely low, CNN reported.

We were never good at science in school but your small intestine is the stop gap between your stomach and large intestine, and absorbs nutrients and allows non-absorbed food to head to the large intestine.

"But when we went to ask the patient if she remembered swallowing anything, she had no recollection", Shepherd said.

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Since the woman was feeling extreme pain, doctors made a decision to operate on the woman and remove the foreign object.

But luckily, the wire did not cause any permanent damage during its 10 years in the woman's intestine.

It's unclear when the woman's braces dropped the wire or if the piece was clipped during braces tightening or removal.

Dr. Pat Raymond, a gastroenterologist and assistant professor of clinical internal medicine at Eastern Virginia Medical School, told CNN that the case is peculiar because the woman had no memory of ingesting the wire.

Shepherd notes that those with braces shouldn't be anxious. She also did not notice three inches of wire missing from the braces. "But this is a very unusual case".

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