Many swallowed foreign bodies pass through the gastrointestinal tract without the need for medical intervention. However, some swallowed foreign bodies (eg, dentures, fish bones, pins, small bat-teries, items containing mercury or lead) may injure the esophagus or obstruct its lumen and must be removed. Pain and dysphagia may be present, and dyspnea may occur as a result of pressure on the trachea. The foreign body may be identified by x-ray film. Per-foration may have occurred (see earlier discussion).
Glucagon, because of its relaxing effect on the esophageal muscle, may be injected intramuscularly. An endoscope (with a covered hood or overtube) may be used to remove the impacting food or object from the esophagus. A mixture consisting of sodium bicarbonate and tartaric acid may be used to increase in-traluminal pressure by the formation of a gas. Caution must be used with this treatment because there is risk of perforation.