The use of fiberoptic bronchoscope to remove aspirated tracheobronchial foreign bodies: Our experience


Background: Foreign body (FB) aspiration is a common emergency in our practice. The routine method of removal is via rigid bronchoscopy (RB) under general anesthesia. This is the preferred procedure particularly in children who form the major affected population. Fiberoptic bronchoscopy (FOB) has also been used for FB removal in many countries, though in Iraq, the standard mean remains rigid bronchoscopy. Objective: Herein, we present 5 cases of FB inhalation in adults in whom FOB was used for removal. The aim is to test its feasibility with literature review. Setting: the department of thoracic surgery/Sulaimania Teaching Hospital/Sulaimania/Iraq. Study Design: a prospective study of 5 patients. Patients and methods: 5 patients (3 females and 2 males) with different bronchial or laryngeal FBs in whom FOB was used as a method for removal are presented. The age ranged from 16 to 71 years. The clinical and radiographic features are recorded. In all these patients, initial FOB examination under local anesthesia transorally or via tracheotomy stoma was done. When removed by this method failed, RB under GA was used and when this failed, thoracotomy was the last resort. Results and Conclusions: FBs encountered in this paper consisted of pins (n = 2), sewing needle (n = 1), speech valve (n = 1) and a medical leach (n = 1). Three FBs (medical leach, speech valve and one pin) were successfully removed by FOB. A pin in RMB was visualized but failed to be removed by FOB and therefore, RB was required for its retrieval, while a needle in left lower lobe was invisible by both FOB and RB and thus surgery was necessary to remove it. We conclude that in adolescent or adult patients with bronchial FBs, FOB should be tried first for removal. If this fails then RB can be used. To increase its success, FOB should be combined with certain accessories like special FB forceps and fluoroscopy.

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Taha, A. (2013) The use of fiberoptic bronchoscope to remove aspirated tracheobronchial foreign bodies: Our experience. Case Reports in Clinical Medicine, 2, 285-290. doi: 10.4236/crcm.2013.25077.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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