Foreign Body Retrieval

Foreign Body Retrieval

Retrieval most often refers to the removal of objects from the gastrointestinal tract or from the bronchii. These objects may be foreign bodies that are swallowed, and objects that are inhaled. Other objects which may be retrieved are polyps and stones.

Probably the most common retrieval situation occurs when a child swallows an object which has been in his/her mouth. Such objects include coins, batteries, small components of toys, etc. Naturally, such small objects can also be accidentally inhaled.

The urgency of the latter situation is obvious. However, it may also be safer to retrieve swallowed objects rather than to let them pass through the GI tract.

In polypectomy, polyps may be successfully snared and removed from the colon wall. However, these polyps may then become dislodged from the snare. It is critically important to retrieve these polyps for subsequent analysis. Recall, from the section on polypectomy, that the reason for removing polyps is to test them for the presence of cancerous cells.

When removing stones from the biliary tree, it is also possible that an occlusion balloon will not successfully remove the stone from the duct. In this case, a retrieval basket can be used to remove the stone. The basket captures the stone within its wire strands. When the catheter is retracted, the wire basket closes upon the stone enabling it to be removed.

Retrieval devices include alligator jaw graspers, rat tooth forceps, retrieval nets, three-wire loop retrievers, and helical wire baskets. Alligator jaw graspers, rat tooth forceps and three-wire loop retrievers are suited to foreign body removal, and the retrieval of polyps. Helical baskets are used as well for stone retrieval.


The content of this page is intended for educational and informational purposes only.  This information is not for procedural application.  Please consult your physician or healthcare provider for professional consultation in regards to these educational topics.

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Foreign Body Retrieval
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