Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Chickenshit


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...

11 comments:

Lynn Price said...

Note to self: never lose my teeth. Always buy boneless chicken.

rlbates said...

Never thought about dentures interfering with "feedback". I'm with Lynn--will try to hang on to my teeth.

Elaine said...

n.b. keep flossing and using those inter-dental brushes - what a horrifying prospect!

Midwife with a Knife said...

Wow. I never thought about the dentures-chicken bone thing. Fascinating.

Bruce said...

I once had to to pull a denture out of someone's hypoharynx. Guess they were eating too fast without enough adhesive. Your post makes me wonder if the patient had been eating chicken at the time.

Anonymous said...

Makes perfect sense. They also tell us not to feed chicken or chicken bones to dogs for the same reason.

Dr. Rob Oliver said...

Sid,
Speaking of wierd bowel surgery....

I did a exploration on a lady for recurrent small bowel obstructions who had a long ago eaten petrified mushroom which was "ball valving" (ie. it floats into a narrowed area, obstructs for awhile, then floats out again)a segment of small bowel. She'd been bouncing in & out of the hospital for years and just had a mushroom cap she'd eaten not be able to pass a mild stricture. It had been there so long it was like a piece of shoe leather at that point.

Bongi said...

i once felt what i thought was a metal wire in someone's anus. when he denied interference (as do they all) i thought i'd take an x-ray and confront him with the undeniable evidence. then we'd see who denies what. the x-ray showed nothing???? i then stuck my finger back in and remover a chicken bone (the very small rib). i felt bad for judging him.

Jason said...

Ouch. I didn't know this was a concern for people with dentures. No wonder my grandma always had her chicken de-boned.

SVK9519 said...

Funny, I came across your blog about the chickenbone, and later that evening had a patient with the same problem.

Sid Schwab said...

Weird.