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J Assoc Physicians India. 2000 Apr;48(4):394-6.

Foreign bodies in gut.

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Department of Gastroenterology, LT Municipal Medical College and LT Municipal General Hospital, Sion, Mumbai.



Foreign body ingestion is common and a frightening experience to the patients and relatives. We report our experience with 102 patients, (78 children and 24 adults), with foreign body ingestion.


After locating foreign bodies radiologically, 34 (43.6%) foreign bodies in children and 13 (54.2%) foreign bodies in adults were removed endoscopically. General anesthesia was used in 32 children and overtube was used for all sharp foreign bodies.


In our study, 78 (76%) patients were below 12 years of age. Coins (79.5%) were commonest foreign bodies in children while dentures (25%) were commonest in adults. Foreign bodies were most commonly sited in stomach (25.6%) in children and esophagus (58.3%) in adults. In 41 (52.6%) children and in three (12.5%) adults, i.e. total 44 out of 102 (43.1%) patients passed foreign bodies spontaneously. The largest foreign body that passed spontaneously was 4-cm long nail in a child. In 34 (43.6%) children and in 13 (54.2%) adults foreign bodies were removed endoscopically. Only 3.8% children and 33.3% adults required surgery.


There was no mortality in our series. Majority of foreign bodies do not require any intervention. Sharp foreign bodies are commonest indication for surgery. However, endoscopic removal is safe, effective and is the method of choice for most patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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