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How is chewing gum stuck in the throat extracted ?

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Practicing since : 2002
Answered : 2324 Questions
One week ago I inhaled a piece of chewing gum and I can still feel it in the back of my throat. I think it is stuck on my Epiglotis or higher up in some cavity. Could I get an infection? What is the best way to get it out? Can I do it myself anyway? Is it a simple procedure done by a DR or do I need to go to a hospital? It's starting to ruin my holiday which is in XXXXXXX and I don't have insurance hence my slow follow up with a Dr! I have no bad breath only discomfort in my throat but I can definitely feel it. Thanks
Posted Sun, 29 Apr 2012 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 37 minutes later
Hello and thanks for the query.

Your question is a good one and I will try to give you some helpful information and recommendations regarding what is going on. From history that you gave me it seems like you have a foreign body which is actually stuck in the back of your throat near the epiglottis. The fact that this is a piece of gum makes it somewhat more difficult because this will not actually dissolve on its own such that a piece of food would in this case.

Unfortunately this is not something that you would be able to address on your own. This is a difficult type of procedure which has to be performed by a skilled professional. There are two types of physicians which generally handle this type of thing. The first physician would be a gastroenterologist. They would be able to remove the piece of gum in a short procedure where a camera is inserted into the back of your throat so that they can visualize the actual foreign material. A similar procedure could be done by an ear nose and throat physician.

I realize that you are on holiday and are away from your normal resources. You could perhaps seek help at an emergency room where one of these physicians might be on call and able to perform this procedure.

Again I thank you very much for submitting your question. I realize you are in a difficult situation but I really think this is something that you should have fixed as soon as possible. You are certainly at risk for infection but sometimes it can cause a problem with ulceration of tissue where the foreign material is actually located. If you have any additional follow-ups or concerns regarding this question please do not hesitate to submit them for my consideration.


Dr. Galamaga
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