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Gastrointestinal Foreign Bodies


Patients with foreign bodies in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract commonly present to the emergency department (ED). Foreign bodies in the upper GI tract are usually swallowed, purposefully or accidentally. The presentation is usually straightforward but on occasion can be extremely subtle. A foreign body in the GI tract is shown in the radiograph below.

A screw in the stomach; peristaltic action will ca

A screw in the stomach; peristaltic action will carry the screw through the GI tract with the blunt end (head) leading and the sharp end trailing.

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Most of the literature covering GI foreign bodies is anecdotal, with the exception of some recent studies on esophageal foreign body removal techniques.

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