This case report is intended to inform clinicians, endoscopists, policy makers and industry of our experience in the management of a rare case of mobile phone ingestion.
Presentation of case
A 29-year-old prisoner presented to the Emergency Department with vomiting, ten hours after he claimed to have swallowed a mobile phone. Clinical examination was unremarkable. Both initial and repeat abdominal radiographs eight hours later confirmed that the foreign body remained in situ in the stomach and had not progressed along the gastrointestinal tract. Based on these findings, upper endoscopy was performed under general anaesthesia. The object could not be aligned correctly to accommodate endoscopic removal using current retrieval devices. Following unsuccessful endoscopy, an upper midline laparotomy was performed and the phone was delivered through an anterior gastrotomy, away from the pylorus. The patient made an uneventful recovery and underwent psychological counselling prior to discharge.
In this case report, the use of endoscopy in the management when a conservative approach fails is questioned. Can the current endoscopic retrieval devices be improved to limit the need for surgical interventions in future cases?
An ingested mobile phone in the stomach may not be amenable for removal using the current endoscopic retrieval devices. Improvements in overtubes or additional modifications of existing retrieval devices to ensure adequate alignment for removal without injuring the oesophagus are needed.