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A 30 year old man was referred by the accident and emergency (A&E) department to the oral and maxillofacial surgery unit with small puncture lacerations on his left cheek and lower neck. The patient, a metal fitter, had been hammering on a piece of metal that shattered on impact. Local examination revealed two small lacerations (approximately 2 cm each) sited in the left cheek and left inferior neck region. Two discrete metal foreign bodies (approximately 1 cm in diameter) were detected by plain radiography (true lateral skull) (fig 1). The foreign body in the left cheek region was readily palpated through the skin and was retrieved via a small skin incision under local anaesthesia. The fragment in the neck was located in deeper subcutaneous tissues and was not readily palpable. Initial attempts to retrieve the object …
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