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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Eating fish. Felt bone stuck in throat. Feeling discomfort while swallowing. Remedy?

Answered by
Dr. Sumit Bhatti

ENT Specialist

Practicing since :1991

Answered : 2555 Questions

Posted on Sat, 15 Jun 2013 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Question: Hi I was eating fish (cod) last Tuesday and i felt a bone in my mouth, i spat out my food and seen half a small bone so im not sure if i swallowed the other half of the fish bone or not! I didn't feel any discomfort at the time. However, 4 days later I was eating chips and felt they were going down my throat so slowly and pain in the middle of my chest bone, now its nearly a week, i still get a pain every time in the same area in my chest bone. Im not sure if its a fishbone, a scratch or maybe the chips caused this? My breathing is fine and when i drink water and fluids its fine! Just dislike the uncomfortable feeling of food going down so slowly and then the sudden discomfort in my chest bone!! I'm so worried, im afraid to eat properly and sleep!!!
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 2 hours later

Thank you for your query.

1. Get a set of X-rays (PAand Lateral) of the Neck, Chest and Abdomen done. A fish bone is mostly visible on X-rays.

2. The narrowest part of the food tract is the entrance of the food pipe. Once food or a foreign body passes through, there is usually no problem. Only if the fish bone is very sharp, it may get stuck. Usually it is an abrasion or spasm caused by a sharp fish bone.

3. If the symptoms do not subside in a couple of days, you will have to get a videolaryngoscopy done, followed by an opinion from a Gastroenterologist. an endoscopy may be required only if symptoms worsen or if the fish bone is seen on X-rays.

4. Medication is likely to mask the symptoms and hence should be taken only under strict medical supervision.

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

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

The User accepted the expert's answer

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