When you swallow food, liquid, or an object, it passes from your mouth and goes down your throat and esophagus and into your stomach. But sometimes these things can get stuck in your throat or esophagus. This may make you choke, cough, or gag. Some objects can cause more problems than others. Sharp, long, or large objects can scratch or cut your throat, your esophagus, and your stomach if they get stuck or if they are swallowed. When this happens, these areas can bleed or get infected.
If the object was stuck in your throat or esophagus, your doctor probably removed it. If you swallowed the object, your doctor may have suggested that you wait and see if the object comes out in your stool. Most swallowed objects will pass through your body without any problem and show up in your stool within 3 days. If the object does not show up in your stool within 7 days, your doctor may order tests to find out where it is in your body.
Your throat may feel sore after you have had an object removed or have swallowed an object that has scratched your throat. It may hurt for a few days when you eat or swallow. The scratch itself may make it feel as if something is still stuck in your throat.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It is also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter Q282 in the search box to learn more about "Swallowed Object in Throat or Esophagus: Care Instructions".
Current as of: November 20, 2017
Thomas M. Bailey, MD, CCFP - Family Medicine
& Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
©2006-2018 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.