Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Speaking of diverticulitis, I once operated on a nice little old lady with what seemed to be a classic case of it, with early perforation. On exploration, I was a little surprised to find the colon absent the typical thickening and redness of acute diverticulits; and more surprised on closer inspection to find something poking out of the middle of the sigmoid colon.
What it was, was a chicken bone. Plucked it out (that's what we do to chickens, isn't it?), over-sewed the hole, left a drain for a while, and she did fine.
That's when I learned something I'd never been told: chicken-bone perforations are not entirely rare in people with dentures. They don't get the roof-of-the-mouth feedback that there's something there, and they swallow the bone. If it goes down OK, no one would do anything about it. But with bad luck...