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Foreign Body Removal

Patients may swallow or inhale a wide variety of items, which then require removal from their gastrointestinal or respiratory tracts. Items commonly requiring removal include spoons, stones, coins, needles, batteries, razor blades, small bones and stents. Removal of foreign bodies by endoscopy is a safe and efficient technique. It is also relatively comfortable for the patient.

During endoscopic foreign body removal, the grasping forceps, or other retrieval instrument, should be advanced as close to the target object as possible. The tool should then be rotated to give the ideal angle from which to grasp the foreign body. Once captured, the foreign body must be held securely so that it does not slip during removal. Choice of a retrieval instrument tailored to the material the foreign body is made from is vital here.

If the foreign body is small enough, it should be removed through the working channel of the endoscope. Larger foreign bodies will require the retraction of the entire endoscope. In these cases a ‘glove’ may be attached to the end of the endoscope and pulled over the foreign body prior grasping it, to protect the patient from injuries caused by the retrieval of the item.

Olympus offers a wide variety of reusable grasping forceps with features designed to ensure the efficient removal of many different foreign bodies. The range includes grasping forceps with an alligator jaw or rat-tooth shape, which are ideal for grasping various objects and provide a secure grip. Forceps with V-shaped jaws are suitable for thin, flat objects. Forceps with tripod and pentapod ends are designed to cause minimal tissue damage during the removal of polyps or soft tissue. Graspers with rubber-tipped ends are designed to maintain a firm grip on tiny, flat or sharp metal objects. Olympus also offers basket-type extraction devices, which are designed for the removal of large, round objects, gallstones and sludge.

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