BMJ Case Reports 2017; doi:10.1136/bcr-2016-218677

Pneumatic dental extractions: an unusual cause of extensive cervical surgical emphysema

  1. Rohit Gohil2
  1. 1 Department of Otorhinolaryngology, NHS Lothian, Livingston, UK
  2. 2 Department of Otorhinolaryngology, NHS Lothian, Edinburgh, UK
  1. Correspondence to Mr Rohit Gohil, rohit.gohil{at}
  • Accepted 5 April 2017
  • Published 17 April 2017


A 50-year-old fit and well man presented to the Accident and Emergency Department in a tertiary centre following lower molar extraction, complaining of voice hoarseness with neck and facial swelling. Clinical examination along with plain film radiography revealed pneumomediastinum and extensive cervical surgical emphysema. He was subsequently admitted for observation and managed conservatively under the ENT team with input from the maxillofacial and anaesthetic teams. With supportive treatment only, the emphysema resolved and he remained well up until discharge.


  • Contributors Both of the authors were involved in the patient's care and are responsible for the creation of the manuscript, including the literature review.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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