Once a swallowed metallic- object has passed the pylorus it has been believed that the attending physician had his choice between allowing nature to take its course and calling in a general surgeon. Often of course the foreign body does pass uneventfully through the gastrointestinal tract, but if it has a point or a sharp or ragged edge there is always danger of perforation of the intestine, or, if the object is unusually long, it is always questionable whether it can pass through the fixed angulations of the duodenum. Surgical removal entails many hazards: Once the abdominal cavity of a small child is opened, it is difficult to locate a nail in the thick-walled retroperitoneal duodenum, to incise it and to suture it together; the operation carries a relatively high mortality.
Our experience with the magnet, which has so greatly simplified the removal of safety pins from the esophagus and
EQUEN M, GILLIAM R, LINEBACK M. NAIL IN DUODENUM REMOVED BY MAGNET. JAMA. 1947;135(7):432. doi:10.1001/jama.1947.62890070004008a