Removal Of Sharp Objects

A pin or fish bone can get stuck in our esophagus, stomach or intestine. Today we will discover how this type of object is extracted.

The removal of sharp objects should always be done as soon as possible. The reason is that this type of foreign body can put the patient’s health at risk if the extraction is not performed.

In the vast majority of cases, the presence of pointed objects is due to an accidental act. It is usually something common in children, although it can also occur in some adults.

Complications with pointed objects

Fish fillet with vegetables.  Frequent removal of objects: fish bones.

There are some complications not only when having the object in a body cavity, but when it is removed. Improper extraction can lead to bleeding or perforation.

Miguel Chávez Rossel, in his study:  A new technique for the safe removal of foreign bodies impacted in the upper digestive tract: use of the reusable “CAP” (cup, cap or cylinder) of the variceal ligator,  talks about some cases of foreign bodies pointed:

  • Fish bones.
  • Pins.
  • Metal bugs (thumbtacks).

Cases in which a fish bone gets stuck are quite common. In fact, it usually happens to children, adults and the elderly.

Object extraction methods

There are several methods for removing sharp objects. Some of them are innovative, as we will see, and others are the more “traditional” way of carrying out extraction.

Regardless of the method that is used, they all have something in common and that is that the extraction of the object ends up being a success. In all cases, it is always better to go to the doctor to check that everything is fine.

Eat some food

The article Incidental foreign body in the gastrointestinal tract. Report of three cases and review of the literature  deals with one of the “traditional” ways to extract a pointed object.

When a fish bone gets trapped in the esophagus, the problem may be solved if we eat some solid food. This will push the spine and can help it release. Although in some cases it does not work, in many others it does. Some solid but soft foods like mashed potatoes or bread are suitable.

Using the “CAP”

This is a new technique, an initiative of Miguel Chávez Rossel. The “CAP” is nothing more than a distal endoscopic accessory or plastic cover in the shape of a small cylinder. Its objective is not only the extraction, but also the improvement in vision to know where the pointed object is.

This helps prevent perforations and bleeding due to poor visibility. The “CAP” helps disimpact the foreign body and remove it using a forceps or a polypectomy loop.

Medical monitoring

In some cases, if the pointed object is in the stomach or intestine, the doctor may enter the patient to follow up on their case.

This allows you to see if immediate removal is required or if the object will be expelled naturally. This usually happens when the pointed object is not anchored in any place and is moving throughout the body. Ideally, you should end up expelling yourself when you go to the bathroom.

Sharp object removal in children

Child with a sore throat.

Children are the most likely to accidentally ingest a pointed object. However, at the time of extraction the situation can be complicated.

Children may cry or not sit still and this can make it very difficult to remove what they have swallowed. Therefore, endotracheal general anesthesia and sedation are often used.

To prevent this from happening, parents who work with clothes and who use pins should be especially careful. Children should always be away from these types of spaces, since the risk of ingesting a pointed object is very high.

Likewise, special caution should be exercised when giving fish to eat. We have to make sure that it does not have thorns and, if it does, remove all those that we see. Although many times we cannot avoid the ingestion of this type of objects, we can carry out this to reduce the possibilities as much as possible.

Have you ever accidentally ingested a pin or thorn? Have you had to go through the experience of removing sharp objects? The discomfort, inconvenience and possible complications that this may cause will make us be much more careful next time so that we do not have to go through the same thing.

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