December 1975

An Unusual Esophageal Foreign Body: Dead or Alive?

Author Affiliations

Murray, Ky

Arch Surg. 1975;110(12):1516. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1975.01360180086020

To the Editor.—Practically every object small enough to be ingested has been reported as having been extracted from the esophagus. Recently, flexible fiberoptic scopes have been utilized with increasing frequency for these procedures. An extremely unusual esophageal foreign body has been encountered.

A 62-year-old woman was fishing and drinking beer simultaneously. As she was finishing the beer, she shook the can, heard the rattle of the pull-tab, and consumed the last swallow. She immediately experienced severe pain in her neck. She assumed that the pull-tab was lodged in her throat, and her husband rushed her to a physician. Roentgenograms of her neck were normal. She was then referred to me. In spite of the normal roentgenographic findings, she underwent esophagoscopy because of the extreme pain. Amazingly enough, a dead yellow jacket was encountered and removed from the middle one third of the esophagus. The patient also happened to be

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