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Foreign Body Ingestion

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jul 7, 2024.

What is foreign body ingestion?

Foreign body ingestion means you swallowed an object that is not food. Examples include dental work and button batteries. A foreign body can cause problems as it moves through your digestive system.

What are the signs and symptoms of foreign body ingestion?

How is foreign body ingestion diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will examine your throat, chest, and abdomen. Tell your provider the type of object you swallowed and when you swallowed it. Your provider may use any of the following to find the object:

How is foreign body ingestion treated?

Your healthcare provider may choose to observe you for 24 hours or longer. You may need x-rays while you wait for the object to come out. If you are in pain or the object is large or sharp, your provider may remove it with any of the following:

What can I do to manage or prevent foreign body ingestion?

When should I seek immediate care?

When should I call my doctor?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.