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Accidentally swallowed a piece of hard plastic. Should I be concerned?

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ENT Specialist
Practicing since : 1991
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Several hours ago I swallowed a piece of hard plastic while drinking water from a reusable bottle. About1/4 inch long, 1/4 inch wide at one end and narrows to a point at other end. No symptoms at ths time. Should I be concerned?
Posted Sun, 18 Nov 2012 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 1 hour later

Thank you for your query.

1. Since you do not have any symptoms such as pain or difficulty in swallowing or breathing, this small piece of plastic seems to have been swallowed uneventfully.

2. You should inform a doctor who can keep you under observation for 24-48 hours.

3. Plastic may show up on X-rays. Get neck chest and abdominal x-rays done.

4. If these are normal, there is no cause for worry.

5. The decision to do a USG (Ultrasound) Abdomen, an endoscopy and any need for laxatives should be left to your doctor.

6. Most foreign bodies such as these will pass through without any problem. The narrowest part of our digestive system is the opening of the food pipe (esophagus). Once an object passes through the next narrowest portion is the (ileocecal) junction of the small and large intestine near the appendix. Beyond this there is no problem.

7. Usually there would be no treatment if the piece of plastic had rounded edges. Caution and observation is only advised as you had noticed that one end of this plastic piece was narrowed to a point.

I hope that I have answered your queries. If you have any further questions, I will be available to answer them.

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