Foreign Object Mimicking an Esophageal Mass

Published:September 26, 2022DOI:


      • One of the most common causes of unintentional foreign body ingestion is dental prostheses.
      • Due to the radiolucent composition of typical materials used to make dentures, they can be easily missed on imaging
      • Early diagnosis of ingested dental prostheses is challenging, and diagnostic delays can lead to serious complications.


      Radiolucent foreign bodies are challenging to diagnose because they cannot be detected on imaging. Retained objects can cause severe infections, local complications, and chronic wounds. Swift and accurate diagnosis is key to avoiding unintentional harm to the patient, while also avoiding any unnecessary testing. This case study focuses on an adult patient who had inadvertently swallowed his partial denture, which remained undetected for 3 months.


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      Richard J. FioRito, MSN, FNP-C, is with Indiana University Health Physicians, Hospitalists, Methodist Hospital, Indianapolis, and can be contacted at [email protected] .


      Areeba Kara, MD, is an associate division chief with Indiana University Health Physicians, Hospitalists, and is an associate professor of clinical medicine at Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis.