Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Incidence Symptoms GI bleeding intestinal obstruction Evaluation Treatment questions for doctor specialist Home Care warning signs Outlook Complications Underlying Cause Anatomy

Swallowed Object Treatment

Most swallowed foreign bodies pass through the esophagus, stomach, and intestines without treatment. Treatment for a swallowed foreign body may include waiting for the object to pass, or removing the object. Occasionally, surgery is required to remove the object.

Treatment for a swallowed foreign body may include:

  • Observation: waiting for the object to pass
  • Endoscopy for a swallowed foreign body
    • A flexible scope is used to remove the object from the esophagus, stomach, or the first part of the intestine.
  • Surgery for a swallowed foreign body:
    • May be necessary, in order to remove a sharp or large object from the intestine

Additional medications may be used to relax the esophagus, so that a foreign body may pass into the stomach and ultimately pass through the intestine.

Additional medications used for esophageal foreign bodies include:

Swallowed Object Questions For Doctor

The following are some important questions to ask before and after the treatment of swallowed foreign body?

Questions to ask before treatment:

  • What are my treatment options?
  • What are the risks associated with treatment?
  • What are the complications I should watch for?

Questions to ask after treatment:
  • Do I need to change my diet?
  • When can I resume my normal activities?
  • Will I need to see my doctor for a checkup?

Swallowed Object Specialist

Physicians from the following specialties evaluate and treat a swallowed foreign body:

Continue to Swallowed Object Home Care

Last Updated: Jan 5, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Swallowed Object References
  1. Cheng W, Tam PK. Foreign-body ingestion in children: experience with 1,265 cases. J Pediatr Surg. 1999 Oct;34(10):1472-6. [10549750]
  2. Macgregor D, Ferguson J. Foreign body ingestion in children: an audit of transit time. J Accid Emerg Med. 1998 Nov;15(6):371-3. [9825273]
  3. Uyemura MC. Foreign body ingestion in children. Am Fam Physician. 2005 Jul 15;72(2):287-91. Review. Summary for patients in: Am Fam Physician. 2005 Jul 15;72(2):292. [16050452]
  4. Wai Pak M, Chung Lee W, Kwok Fung H, van Hasselt CA. A prospective study of foreign-body ingestion in 311 children. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2001 Apr 6;58(1):37-45. [11249978]
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