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Duke doctor removes dental drill bit inhaled during procedure

Posted May 11, 2022 5:18 p.m. EDT
Updated May 11, 2022 11:02 p.m. EDT

— A Duke Health doctor recently removed a dental drill bit from a patient's lung after it was inhaled during a procedure.

Interventional pulmonologist Dr. Momen Wahidi performed a bronchoscopy, which involves putting a thin, lighted tube through the nose or mouth to get into someone's airways, to remove the dental drill.

The drill bit, which is two centimeters long and sharpened on one end, became detached from the drill when the patient was having a cavity filled, Wahidi said. Scans showed the drill bit was lodged far right in the man's right lung.

"The concern was that we might not be successful, and this was the location that our tools might not be able to reach when it's that deep," said Wahidi. "I told the patient that we may or may not be able to get it but we are going to try,"

Wahidi said he was able to delicately grab the drill bit piece using a scope.

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