Techniques and complications of esophageal foreign body extraction in children and adults

Gastrointest Endosc. Sep-Oct 1993;39(5):626-30. doi: 10.1016/s0016-5107(93)70212-6.


To assess the success rates and complications of esophageal foreign body extraction in adult and pediatric patients, the charts of 76 adults and 116 children with endoscopically or radiographically documented esophageal foreign body impaction were retrospectively reviewed. Success rates for rigid esophagoscopy (100%) and flexible endoscopy (96.2%) were not significantly different (p > 0.05). Overall, rigid esophagoscopy had a higher complication rate than flexible endoscopy (10% versus 5.1%, p > 0.05), but this trend did not reach statistical significance. The Foley catheter technique was used predominantly in children with proximally located blunt objects. Our study shows that flexible and rigid esophagoscopy are both safe and effective methods of removing esophageal foreign bodies, but rigid esophagoscopy carries a higher complication rate and therefore should be reserved for patients in whom flexible endoscopy is unsuccessful. The Foley catheter technique is suited only for proximally located blunt objects, and its routine use is not recommended.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anesthesia, General
  • Catheterization / instrumentation
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Conscious Sedation
  • Dilatation / instrumentation
  • Esophagoscopy / adverse effects*
  • Esophagoscopy / methods
  • Esophagus*
  • Foreign Bodies / epidemiology
  • Foreign Bodies / therapy*
  • Glucagon / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Nifedipine / therapeutic use
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Glucagon
  • Nifedipine