Foreign bodies and caustic lesions

Xavier Dray, Pierre Cattan
Best Practice & Research. Clinical Gastroenterology 2013, 27 (5): 679-89
Foreign body ingestions, food bolus impactions, and caustic agent injuries are frequent but specific situations. Although most foreign bodies will naturally pass through the digestive tract, practitioners should recognize specific situations were endoscopic management is required. In such cases, timing and adequate equipment are critical. Endoscopic treatment is successful in about 95% of patients. Severe complications (including oesophageal perforations) are rare. Underlying diseases (including eosinophilic oesophagitis) must be investigated after food bolus impaction. Accidental or suicidal ingestion of corrosive agents may result in severe upper gastrointestinal tract injuries requiring a multidisciplinary approach including gastroenterologists, surgeons, otorhynolaryngologists, anaesthesiologists and psychiatrists. Treatment includes conservative management of patients with mild injuries, while patients with severe injuries undergo emergency surgical exploration. At distance of the ingestion episode, oesophageal reconstruction is required in patients who underwent oesophageal resection and in patients who developed oesophageal strictures that failed dilatation.

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