Regional Gastrointestinal Consultants

Removal of Foreign Bodies

Removal of Foreign Bodies

Colonoscopies and endoscopies are used to identify and remove certain foreign bodies. Foreign bodies occur when a person consumes items that will not readily pass through their gastrointestinal tract. These items such as, pen caps, tooth picks, fish bones, marbles, and any number of other items. The problems that are caused by foreign bodies vary with the:

  • duration that the foreign body has been present
  • location of the foreign body
  • degree of obstruction that is caused
  • problems associated with the material of the foreign body

Some ingested items, such as older pennies or lead material, can cause systemic toxicities while others may cause regional damage to the intestinal tract itself due to compression or obstruction.

Gastrointestinal foreign bodies, can also lead to perforation of the intestinal tract and spillage of intestinal contents into the abdomen. This condition quickly leads to inflammation of the abdominal lining (peritonitis) and allows bacterial proliferation and contamination (sepsis), which are both life-threatening complications. While some small foreign bodies will pass, many will become lodged along the gastrointestinal tract and cause discomfort and make a person sick.

Some foreign bodies located in the stomach or colon may be retrieved with the use of an endoscopy or colonoscopy. However, some cases surgical abdominal exploration and removal may be needed. In any event, if you are suspicious of a foreign body being ingested promptly contact a physician, or contact our office.


We recommend that people experiencing gastrointestinal symptoms do not attempt self-treatment. With many medications being available over the counter, and numerous do-it-yourself online unqualified remedy recommendation, it is natural to consider treating yourself but we highly recommend against this.

If you are experiencing gastrointestinal symptoms you may have a more significant issue than you would expect from the sometimes muted or infrequent symptom you may be experiencing. It is important to keep in mind that is you are having gastrointestinal symptoms or concerns it is best see a doctor to have those symptoms diagnosed and any conditions treated. Also, it is worth noting, that if health conditions do exist, the earlier they are diagnosed and treated, the greater the probability will be to successfully eliminate or manage a present condition, in fact successful outcomes will increase significantly with early detection.

If you have gastrointestinal concerns or are experiencing any gastrointestinal symptoms, please contact us promptly to schedule a consultation with a physician.


The information on this website is to provide general information. In no way, does any of the information provided reflect definitive medical advice and self-diagnoses should not be made based on information obtained online. It is important to consult a best in class physician regarding ANY and ALL symptoms or signs as it may a sign of a serious illness or condition. A thorough consultation and examination should ALWAYS be performed for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Be sure to call a physician or call our office today at (215) 321-4700 to schedule a consultation.