Q. Do I need an x-ray or ultrasound to detect the swallowed metal piece, or will it eliminate on its own?

Answered by
Dr. Muhammad Zubayer Alam
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Oct 07, 2021

Hello doctor,

I am a 35-year-old male. Is it fine if I swallowed a small piece of metal? Should I do an x-ray, ultrasound, or anything else?

Kindly help.



Thank you for the query.

I can understand your concern. According to your statement, you had a history of swallowing a small piece of metal.

It depends on the size and shape of the metal. If the piece of metal is trapped in the throat or esophagus, then some symptoms like discomfort in the throat or neck, swallowing difficulties, drooling, breathing difficulties will be observed. If the piece of metal is trapped in the stomach or intestine, you may experience abdominal pain, vomiting, or fever.

I suggest you take a plain x-ray, barium swallow, ultrasound, or CT (computed tomography) scan to identify the location of the metal object. An endoscopy or balloon catheter can be used to remove the metal object.

If you have no symptoms mentioned above, then the piece of metal has already been removed from your body through the digestive system. But, for confirmation, you can undergo a CT scan because it is the most effective radiological procedure that can accurately identify the metal's location.

Take care.

Hello doctor,

Thanks for the response.

The incident occurred today. Would an x-ray suffice if I conduct it tomorrow, or shall I do the CT directly even if I do not have the symptoms mentioned above?




Welcome back to

Thank you for joining again.

A CT scan is the best radiological method to locate any foreign object. A plain x-ray may fail to detect the location of a foreign object like a piece of metal. For this reason, in such cases, a CT scan is recommended.

As you do not have symptoms, the piece of metal has been expelled from your body through the digestive system. But, for your safety, you can undergo a CT scan to confirm its excretion from your body through the digestive system. But, for confirmation, it will be better for you to undergo a CT scan to avoid any further unwanted complications.

Take care.

Was this answer helpful?


Same symptoms doesn’t mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Related Questions:
My last endoscopy for gastritis was eight years ago. Do I need another test?

Your symptoms are suggestive of recurrent mild gastritis (excessive acidity) ...  You can continue the use of acid-blocking medicines like Prilosec (Omeprazole) as needed for a couple of days when you have the symptoms ......   Read full

What could cause foreign body sensation in the eye?

After my eyes started to wear off from the eye drops only my left eye clear up and the right eye was still blurry and one to two days later that right eye started paining like pressure ... When I...   Read full

I have been advised endoscopy for barrett's esophagus.I am scared of the sedation because I have varicose veins.

.. read through your query in detail. Please find my observations below. I can see that your leg has developed varicose veins (attachment removed to protect patient identity). This happens due to back flow of blood into the superficial venous system...   Read full

Also Read Answers From:

ideaComprehensive Medical Second Opinion.Submit your Case

Also Read

Tomato Fever - Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention
Tomato fever is an unidentified and fast-spreading type of viral infection seen in young children. Scroll down to know m...  Read more»
Histrionic Personality Disorder - Causes, Signs, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment
Histrionic personality disorder causes variations in the thinking ability of a person. Read this article to know more.  Read more»
Nighttime Skin Routine for Clear Skin
A skin that gets all the attention during the day requires a chance to repair, rejuvenate and replenish from day damage ...  Read more»

Ask your health query to a doctor online?

Ask an Internal Medicine Physician Now

* guaranteed answer within 4 hours.

Disclaimer: No content published on this website is intended to be a substitute for professional medical diagnosis, advice or treatment by a trained physician. Seek advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with questions you may have regarding your symptoms and medical condition for a complete medical diagnosis. Do not delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice because of something you have read on this website. Read our Editorial Process to know how we create content for health articles and queries.