May 6, 2008

Foreign body (FB) in stomach

Children in the age group of infancy to preschool age, has tendency to put anything in the mouth. In the older age group, the non-eatables are accidentally swallowed. The foreign body (FB) can be of two main types, sharp & blunt. Sharp FBs are commonly pins of any types & blunt FB are commonly coins.

The child usually has history of accidental ingestion of FB. The presentations ranges from asymptomatic i.e. no complaints to pin in abdomen, vomitings rarely distension of abdomen. The plain X-ray abdomen standing shows the radio opaque FB, the site, shape etc. If there are signs of perforation then gas under diaphragm. If the FB is blunt, seen in plain X-ray & child is not having any problem then laxatives & observation is recommended. The majority of times the FB passes in stool without any problem.

In case of sharp FB, one should not wait until symptoms appear. Further investigations like ultrasonography or CT scan is done. If the FB is in the stomach then it can be removed through the flexible gastroenteroscope while if it is the intestine then exploratory laparotomy to remove FB is recommended.