Foreign bodies are usually seen in children, when coins, toys, and other objects are accidentally swallowed lodge in the esophagus or throat. Adults and teenagers may also complain of a “foreign body” such as fishbone or chicken bone that becomes lodge inadvertently.
Foreign bodies are removed through the mouth in the operating room. The patient is asleep and laryngoscope or esophagoscope is used to identify the foreign body.
Long telescopes are used to project images to a screen to help a surgeon. Specialized tools are used to securely grasp the foreign body. In fact, there are specialized instruments which are used to grasp items such as coins and peanuts.
Other foreign bodies, such as fish bones, often lodge near the tongue or tonsil. Depending on the location, the surgeon may be able to remove the object with the patient awake. After the patient’s throat is numbed using local anesthesia a camera is used closely examine the area of interest. A different grasper is placed through the mouth to grab the object and remove it.