Endoscopic Management of Foreign Bodies in the Upper Gastrointestinal Tract: An Evidence-Based Review Article

Pedro Magalhães-Costa, Liliana Carvalho, José Pedro Rodrigues, Maria Ana Túlio, Susana Marques, Joana Carmo, Miguel Bispo, Cristina Chagas
GE Portuguese Journal of Gastroenterology 2016, 23 (3): 142-152
Gastrointestinal foreign bodies (FB) are comprised of food bolus impaction and intentionally or unintentionally ingested or inserted true FB. Food bolus impaction and true FB ingestion represent a recurrent problem and a true challenge in gastrointestinal endoscopy. More than 80-90% of the ingested true FB will pass spontaneously through the gastrointestinal tract without complications. However, in 10-20% of the cases an endoscopic intervention is deemed necessary. True FB ingestion has its greatest incidence in children, psychiatric patients and prisoners. On the other hand, food bolus impaction typically occurs in the elderly population with an underlying esophageal pathology. The most serious situations, with higher rates of complications, are associated with prolonged esophageal impaction, ingestion of sharp and long objects, button batteries and magnets. Physicians should recognize early alarm symptoms, such as complete dysphagia, distressed patients not able to manage secretions, or clinical signs of perforation. Although many papers are yearly published regarding this subject, our knowledge is mainly based on case-reports and retrospective series. Herein, the authors summarize the existing evidence and propose an algorithm for the best approach to FB ingestion.

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