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Endoscopy. 2004 Oct;36(10):887-92.

Removal of a foreign body from the upper gastrointestinal tract with a flexible endoscope: a prospective study.

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  • 1Endoscopy Service, University of São Paulo School of Medicine, São Paulo, Brazil. dalton.chaves@fleury.com.br



There have so far been no prospective studies on the value of flexible endoscopy for removing foreign bodies in the upper gastrointestinal tract. This study presents a clinical analysis of accidents with foreign bodies and prospectively evaluates the effectiveness of flexible endoscopy for removing them.


A total of 105 cases of foreign-body ingestion in the upper gastrointestinal tract were evaluated, 29 (27.6 %) in children and 76 (72.4 %) in adults. Thirty patients (28.5 %) had esophageal strictures.


Thirty-nine of the foreign bodies (37.1 %) consisted of food and 66 (62.9 %) were not food-related. The success rate of foreign-body extraction using only a conventional flexible endoscope and accessories for treatment was 98.0 %, and with only a polypectomy snare and rat-toothed forceps it was 91.2 %. Complications at the moment of foreign-body removal occurred in nine patients (8.6 %); there was only one (1 %) esophageal perforation. The incidence of complications related to the duration of foreign-body impaction was six (10.5 %) with foreign bodies impacted for up to 24 h, 13 (52.0 %) for those impacted for 24-48 h, and three (60.0 %) for those impacted for 48-72 h ( P < 0.05).


The flexible endoscope is an effective and safe device for removing foreign bodies from the upper gastrointestinal tract, with a high success rate using only the polypectomy snare and the rat-toothed forceps as accessories. If foreign-body impaction lasts for more than 24 h, there is a significant increase in the incidence of complications.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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