In some cases, pets don’t need an emergency surgery to have a foreign body removed; there’s a minimally invasive option: Endoscopy!
Capital District offers endoscopy services for foreign body retrieval. Patients who have been diagnosed with an esophageal or gastric foreign body or patients that are asymptomatic but were known to have ingested a foreign object are ideal candidates for this treatment modality.
Endoscopic removal of foreign objects reduces anesthetic risk, post-operative morbidity, complications, and can be a less costly option as well.
When Endoscopy is a Good Option
In considering foreign object retrieval using an endoscope, the feasibility, urgency and potential complications are carefully reviewed. Esophageal foreign bodies require immediate attention. Should there be a concern for perforation or severe lodgment at the area of the upper esophageal sphincter, the thoracic inlet, the heart base or the distal esophageal sphincter, a plan for possible thoracotomy will be discussed and referral to a surgeon may be recommended.
Good candidates for endoscopy include:
- Gastric foreign objects
- Small sharp objects
- Toxic objects (batteries, pennies)
- Objects that have been in the stomach for more than 2-4 weeks
If there is a concern about perforation of the GI tract or for heavy large objects, exploratory laparotomy may be a better option.
When a Pet Presents for a Foreign Body Retrieval
Diagnostic imaging and evaluation can provide important information that will allow the best plan to be formulated for each patient.
Signs of esophageal foreign objects may include:
- Facial pawing
- Respiratory changes
Signs of gastric foreign objects may include:
- Abdominal pain
- Historical ingestion