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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.

#

Hi,

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?

Thanks.

#

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

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.


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