Main Article Content

Endoscopic esophageal foreign body removal among children at Lubaga Hospital, Kampala, Uganda

Michael Okello
Sabrina Bakeera-Kitaka
Ponsiano Ocama
Esther Patience Nabwire
Dave Darshit
Christine Namata
Annah Ainembabazi Tinka


Background: Diagnostic upper gastrointestinal endoscopy involves examination of the lining of the esophagus, stomach and part of the duodenum. Interventional endoscopy in addition to evaluating the upper gastrointestinal tract to make a diagnosis, also offers a treatment benefit. Traditionally, esophageal foreign bodies (FBs) in Uganda were removed using rigid endoscopy. We therefore report an emerging trend of using flexible endoscopy to remove these FBs.

Objective: To describe participant characteristics and endoscopic findings among children who underwent esophageal FB removal in Lubaga Hospital in Kampala.

Methods: This was a retrospective review of endoscopy reports for children who underwent endoscopic esophageal FB removal at Lubaga Hospital from December 2014 to March 2022.

Results: Overall, 61 symptomatic children underwent this procedure. The majority of the FBs were removed by flexible endoscopy (n=55, 90.16%). The mean age of the participants was 7.88 (SD=2.12) years old. The majority of the children were females (72.13%) and coins were the most ingested FBs (84%), others included steel crucifix, nails etc. The upper esophageal sphincter was the commonest site for FB impaction (74%).

Conclusion: We report high success rates of 90.16% for endoscopic removal of impacted esophageal foreign bodies among Ugandan children using the now widely available flexible endoscopy.

Keywords: Endoscopy; esophagus; foreign body.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1729-0503
print ISSN: 1680-6905