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Should i be concerned about swallowing a shrimp shell accidently?

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Posted on Tue, 11 Mar 2014
Question: I mistakenly swallowed a shrimp shell and it feels stuck in my throat. I have no great discomfort, no fever, or any other symptoms, but I can detect something in my throat when I swallow. This ocurred 12 hrs ago and I'm planning on waiting another 24 hrs to see if this feeling will subside. Is this a reasonable course of action ?
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Answered by Dr. Prahlad Duggal (12 minutes later)
Brief Answer: Can wait if symptoms are not progressive Detailed Answer: Hi, Thanks for the query. Foreign body impaction in throat can occur and can produce such symptoms of something stuck in throat but many a times this feeling is because of the injury caused by the passage of that foreign body rather than the actual impaction. Use of proton pump inhibitors with antacid preparations with local anaesthetics help in relieving symptoms. But if the symptoms persist for long or there is much difficulty in swallowing, an Xray of the neck should be done to have an idea about the foreign body. In your case a shell will be radio-opaque and can be seen on Xray and if it is there, endoscopic removal is recommended. You can wait for 24 hours if there is not much pain and dysphagia is not progressive. In case pain appears in throat, neck or between the shoulder blades, do visit an ENT. Feel free to ask another query. Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Dr. Prahlad Duggal

ENT Specialist

Practicing since :1998

Answered : 784 Questions

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Should i be concerned about swallowing a shrimp shell accidently?

Brief Answer: Can wait if symptoms are not progressive Detailed Answer: Hi, Thanks for the query. Foreign body impaction in throat can occur and can produce such symptoms of something stuck in throat but many a times this feeling is because of the injury caused by the passage of that foreign body rather than the actual impaction. Use of proton pump inhibitors with antacid preparations with local anaesthetics help in relieving symptoms. But if the symptoms persist for long or there is much difficulty in swallowing, an Xray of the neck should be done to have an idea about the foreign body. In your case a shell will be radio-opaque and can be seen on Xray and if it is there, endoscopic removal is recommended. You can wait for 24 hours if there is not much pain and dysphagia is not progressive. In case pain appears in throat, neck or between the shoulder blades, do visit an ENT. Feel free to ask another query. Regards