Esophageal Foreign Bodies
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Children with a history of esophageal surgery or with known esophageal stricture are at increased risk of esophageal foreign body impaction. In the pediatric population, it has been estimated that up to 30% of children with an esophageal foreign body will be asymptomatic and are brought to medical care only because the ingestion was witnessed by a caregiver. Both rigid and flexible endoscopic techniques have been employed for removal of esophageal foreign bodies. Acutely, a foreign body that completely obstructs the lumen of the esophagus can lead to the inability to swallow oral secretions, placing the younger child at particular risk of aspiration. Sharp foreign bodies and button batteries should be removed immediately because of the risk of severe injury to the esophagus and adjacent structures. The intimate anatomic relationship between the aortic arch and esophagus is very familiar to the endoscopist, who on every examination of the upper intestinal tract visualizes the pulsations of the adjacent aorta.