A few days back I wrote about objects or foreign bodies which children accidentally swallow.
3 Foreign bodies which adults can have problem with are:
- Fish bone
- Chicken or offer animal meat bone
The first one is the least scary .
The other two can be life threatening.
For fish bone and various meat bones :How does it happen ?
It can happen when you are eating unmindfully watching television
It can happen when you are eating in a hurry.
It can also happen if you swallow accidentally
Common in alcoholics who eat after binge drinking.
Dentures:When are they swallowed
- If it’s loose and Ill fitting.
- Specially single tooth.
- If you forget to take them out at bedtime.
What to do?
Fish bone if visible, lots of people remove it at home.Foreign body throat is most common with fish bone and causes least problems.
But chicken and other animal meat bone is a difficult situation. Denture too can be life threatening
Visit your nearest hospital with ENT emergency.
What will happen once you visit the hospital ?
A doctor will listen to what happened .Check your oral cavity and oropharynx to see whether the object is visible.
If it’s visible ,you are in luck.
It can be removed under local anaesthesia quickly.
If not seen on examination you will be asked to do radiological tests like X-ray Soft tissue Neck AP/Lateral
Computed Tomography of neck.
Once the object is visualised .
You will be given intravenous medicines ,saline ,pain killers and asked to take nothing orally.
After about 8 hours of empty stomach you will be taken to the operation theatre with your consent .
At the Operation theatre ,a procedure known as Oesophagoscopy is carried out after making you unconscious with the help of anaesthesia .Oesophascopy is the procedure to remove oesoophageal foreign body.
During this procedure a tube with light source will be introduced inside your food pipe to look for the object stuck there.
Once seen it’s taken out with a forcep. The food pipe is also checked for any trauma due to the object.
If it’s a denture and it has a wire stuck in the food pipe .Then it will need to be cut and removed in parts .This avoids perforation or tearing of the food pipe which is a life threatening condition.
Is there a risk during this procedure
Yes all operative procedure have risk involving, the surgery and the anaesthesia.
During Oesophagoscopy since the object is stuck in the food pipe ,a risk of tear is always there.
Fortunately the food pipe has multiple coats and mucosal tears if minor can be treated without complications.
But if the tear is deep there are chances of long-term narrowing of esophagus and life risk too.
What happens if the object is removed with no tear?
You get better .After a postoperative neck and chest X-ray and 24 to 48 hours of antibiotics (depending on condition ), you will be discharged.
What happens if there’s a tear?
Let’s pray that doesn’t happen.But in the event it happens ,your doctor will ask you to avoid any oral.intake of food or water .
Antibiotics and intravenous fluid continues till it heals .
In some cases surgery may be needed to repair a tear.
What happens if the object is not removed?
If the object is in the food pipe proper and not stuck in the wall there’s some chance of it gradually progressing into the lower part of your gut.
Wherever it is it will need to be removed. Because intestinal perforation due to obstruction can endanger your life.
If it’s stuck in the throat and not removed urgently
For fish bone you will have an episode of pharyngitis like symptoms which should heal with the use of antibiotics.
In the worst case scenario it can irritate you for some time.
Al meat bone needs to be removed
Otherwise it can cause acute retropharyngeal,parapharyngeal abscess and various other complications
Do what’s the best thing to do ?
Not only you enjoy your food more ,you also avoid these freak accidents.
This is my UBC day 25 .Writing daily since October .
Disclaimer :All information provided is for educational purpose Any medical decision should be taken after consultation with your own physician.
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