During any endoscopic procedure, foreign objects may be identified within an organ and potentially be removed with the endoscope. The esophagus and stomach are the most common locations for foreign objects that are able to be removed endoscopically. Toys, rawhides and similar chew items as well as chicken or beef bones are the most common items to become lodged in the esophagus or stomach. Certain types of foreign objects that lodge in the esophagus and remain for a period of time can lead to an esophageal stricture necessitating a balloon dilation procedure. Therefore, it is very important to remove objects from the esophagus as soon as they are thought to be present.
Other organs where foreign objects can lodge include the airways (nasal passages, trachea, lower airways) and the urinary tract (vagina, urethra). Objects within the intestines cannot be removed endoscopically and instead need to be removed surgically.
During a endoscopic foreign body retrieval, the endoscope is gently introduced into the organ where to object is located. Once the foreign object is viewed on the video monitor, an instrument is inserted through the endoscope, advanced until the foreign object can be grasped, and then it is removed.
Left: This picture was taken during esophagoscopy in a small breed dog. The object in the middle is a large piece of apple lodged in the esophagus.
Right: This picture shows an instrument that was passed through the endoscope, gasping the apple so that it can be removed out through the mouth.