Foreign Body Retrieval

Foreign Body Retrieval

Foreign body retrieval is the removal of objects or substances that have been introduced into the body. Objects may be inhaled into the airway, swallowed or lodged in the throat or stomach, or embedded in the soft tissues. About 80 percent of foreign body ingestions occur among children. Most foreign bodies pass through the gastrointestinal tract without complication, and endoscopic or surgical intervention is required only 10 to 20 percent of the time.

Evaluation and treatment will depend on the type of foreign body and how it was introduced. If it was swallowed, you may undergo a direct examination of your throat and esophagus or an x-ray examination. If it is lodged in a soft tissue, such as a splinter embedded under the skin, you may undergo an ultrasound, x-ray or CT scan to locate and remove the object. Tell your doctor if there’s a possibility you are pregnant and discuss any recent illnesses, medical conditions, medications you’re taking and allergies, especially to iodinated contrast materials. Leave jewelry at home and wear loose, comfortable clothing. You may be asked to wear a gown.

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