Swallowed Object (cont.)
Swallowed Object Diagnosis
The doctor will take a complete history and will specifically want to know what was swallowed, when it was swallowed, and any symptoms the patient has. A physical examination will focus on the mouth, throat, and lungs. The doctor may perform one or more of the following tests:
- X-rays of the neck, chest, and abdomen may be performed to help locate any objects that will show up in this format, such as coins, batteries, metal toys, and bones.
- Enhanced X-rays with barium may be used to help locate stuck objects not seen on regular X-rays.
- The doctor may make a direct inspection of the area above the voice box with a special fiber optic light or indirect inspection with a dental mirror. These procedures require a cooperative patient.
- Direct visualization with a fiber optic scope (endoscopy) may be needed to see objects in the esophagus. This is procedure is usually performed in a short procedure unit or in the operating room.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/17/2014
Thomas Rebbecchi, MD, FAAEM
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