Eid Ahmed, 69, from the Arab village of Kafr Kanna in Galilee, was admitted at Baruch Padeh Medical Center in Poriya, near T’veria, after his family doctor referred him with fever, difficulty breathing and coughing.
The team of doctors at the internal department suspected pneumonia, but then, as Dr. Salah Nazal, director of lung service, noted, “In the CT imaging, we saw an elongated, foreign body in the right lung we were unable to identify. In light of this finding, we decided to perform a bronchoscopy. On examination, we detected tissue that was blocking one of the bronchi at the base of the right lung. We realized that a foreign body had reached into the airway and tissue was formed around it. To extract the foreign body we had to isolate the tissue that was created during the days and weeks when the foreign body was stuck in the bronchial tubes.”
In the operating room, under general anesthesia in collaboration with the anesthesiologist team, the doctors performed the complex operation using advanced equipment and managed to extract the foreign body from the lung.
“When I pulled it out, it became clear that it was a tooth that the patient apparently inhaled with the root, into his lung,” Dr. Nazal reported. “The tooth caused inflammation, resulting in airway obstruction in the area, and pneumonia developed later.”
Dr. Nazal stressed that the tooth could have caused irreversible damage to the base of the right lung and even sepsis—a potentially life-threatening condition caused by the body’s response to an infection.
Two days after the tooth was removed, Ahmed’s condition improved greatly and he was released.