Foreign Body Removal

People sometimes swallow food or foreign bodies unintentionally, that get stuck in the digestive tract. Usually, these materials pass through the digestive tract and are excreted from the body in the stool. In certain cases, the foreign body does not pass out of the body on its own and may need intervention. Few foreign bodies like batteries/cells/magnets require immediate removal due to high risk of complications like intestine perforation.

What is the Endoscopic Foreign body removal technique?

Endoscopic Foreign body removal is a technique used to remove foreign bodies that are stuck in the digestive tract. They may have been accidentally swallowed, leading to the airways being blocked. Foreign bodies in the gastrointestinal tract are a major cause of morbidity and even mortality in mainly elderly people and children. The symptoms and signs produced by these foreign bodies depend on their size, location, and nature.
Foreign bodies are removed using a technique known as Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD). The clinical approach depends on the type of foreign body ingested, its chemical composition, and other clinical findings. Foreign bodies stuck anywhere till first part of small intestine (duodenal) can be removed endoscopically. Foreign bodies beyond this point in small intestine need to be observed or removed surgically. Your doctor may ask you to do X-rays to know the position of the foreign body in the GI tract.

How is the EGD performed?

The procedure is done under general anaesthesia to prevent risk of foreign body getting in trachea during removal. . An endoscope is used to examine the inner lining of the digestive tract. The doctor examines the obstruction with the help of a lighted camera attached to a long, flexible tube of the endoscope that is passed through the mouth into the esophagus. The object is either pushed into the stomach or removed from the body using clinical instruments.