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Medical ArticlesThe Royal Touch
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Category: FOREIGN BODIES IN THE ESOPHAGUS
Source: A Manual Of Peroral Endoscopy And Laryngeal Surgery
A foreign body lodged in the esophagus may prove quickly
fatal from hemorrhage due to perforation of a large vessel; from
asphyxia by pressure on the trachea; or from perforation and
septic mediastinitis. Slower fatalities may result from suppuration
extending to the trachea or bronchi with consequent edema and
asphyxia. Sooner or later, if not removed, the foreign body causes
death. It may be tolerated for a long period of time, causing abscess,
cervical cellulitis, fistulous tracts, and ultimately extreme stenosis
from cicatricial contraction. Perichondritis of the laryngeal or
tracheal cartilages may follow, and result in laryngeal stenosis
requiring tracheotomy. The damage produced by the foreign body is
often much less than that caused by blind and ill-advised attempts at
removal. If the foreign body becomes dislodged and moves downward, the
danger of intestinal perforation is encountered. The prognosis,
therefore, must be guarded so long as the intruder remains in the