Foreign body (FB) ingestion is a common clinical problem. Those at increased risk include children, older people, people who have an intellectual disability, patients with psychiatric pathologies, prisoners/inmates, and those with underlying GI mechanical obstruction.
Most ingested foreign bodies will pass through the GI tract without symptoms and cause only minor mucosal injury. However, 10% to 20% of cases will require some kind of nonoperative intervention, and 1% or less of cases may develop complications (e.g., bowel obstruction, perforation, severe hemorrhage, abscess formation, or septicemia) and require further surgical interventions.
Despite the technical challenge, fiberoptic endoscopy is considered the first line of intervention for removal of foreign bodies. It is also considered the safest and most reliable method of diagnosis and treatment of GI FB.
Other nonoperative techniques for FB removal include: rigid endoscopy, Foley catheters, and esophageal bougienage. Laparoscopic or open surgery is the last resort when other techniques have failed.
An ingested foreign body is any object (including food) originating outside the body and ingested into the mouth and through the GI tract.
Associate Professor of Medicine
Borland Groover Clinic
JCM declares that he has no competing interests.
Professor Juan Carlos Munoz would like to gratefully acknowledge Professor Luis F. Laos, a previous contributor to this monograph. LFL declares that he has no competing interests.
Ganesh Man Singh Memorial Academy of ENT and Head and Neck Studies
TU Teaching Hospital
PA declares that he has no competing interests.
General Surgery Chief Resident
Department of General Surgery
University of Tennessee Medical Center
JFA declares that he has no competing interests.
Clinical Research Fellow
Cleveland Clinic Florida
RVS declares that he has no competing interests.
Associate Professor of Pediatric Surgery
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
DJH declares that he has no competing interests.
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