Oesophageal foreign bodies in Port Harcourt
Background: Due to natural anatomical narrowing in the oesophageal lumen, foreign bodies easily impact within it, causing an emergency.
Aim: To document the pattern and presentation of oesophageal foreign bodies in the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH) and Braithwaite Memorial Specialist Hospital (BMSH).
Method: Records of all clients who presented with history of foreign body ingestion and had removal from the oesophagus in the Department of Otolarygology UPTH and BMSH were retrieved. The period of study was between January 1, 2007 and December 31, 2010. Only clients that their history was confirmed by endoscopy were included in the study.
Results: A total of 22 clients met the above criteria and were included in the study. There were 15 males and 7 females with a male/female ratio of 2.1:1. Their ages ranged from 10 years to 60 years. Five clients were 20 years and below. Objects identified included screw nuts, dentures and others. Dental prosthesis (dentures) were the most prevalent type of foreign bodies seen. There was no repeat impaction. Retrieval of impacted foreign bodies was done under general anaesthesia in all cases and was successful in all.
Conclusion: Oesophageal foreign bodies, remain a common emergency. Dental education on usage of dentures is essential, especially to users. Urgent retrieval is mandatory as delay may result in various morbidities and mortality.