Foreign Bodies in the Esophagus

Dov Weissberg, Yael Refaely

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Background: One third of foreign bodies retained in the gastrointestinal tract are present in the esophagus. Their management depends on the anatomic location, shape and size of the foreign body, and duration of impaction. Methods: Between 1971 and 2001, 32 patients with foreign bodies in the esophagus were admitted to our service in the Wolfson Medical Center. Their charts were reviewed for preoperative diagnosis, kind and location of foreign body, length of retention, management of patients, complications, and length of hospitalization. Results: One patient was admitted with perforation of the esophagus. Thirty of the foreign bodies have been extracted at rigid esophagoscopy and two at thoracotomy. There was one complication (tear of esophageal mucosa) and one death. Conclusions: The presence of a foreign body in the esophagus is a challenging problem. Perforations may result in death. Impaction mandates immediate extraction. Our experience indicates that the use of a rigid esophagoscope is safe and reliable. Based on this experience and that of other authors, we recommend the use of the rigid endoscope as the instrument of choice for extracting foreign bodies from the esophagus. Surgeons in training should be taught rigid esophagoscopy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1854-1857
Number of pages4
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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