Pediatr Gastroenterol Hepatol Nutr.  2019 Mar;22(2):132-141. 10.5223/pghn.2019.22.2.132.

Foreign Body Removal in Children Using Foley Catheter or Magnet Tube from Gastrointestinal Tract

  • 1Department of Emergency Medicine, School of Medicine, Kyungpook National University, Daegu, Korea.
  • 2Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, Kyungpook National University, Daegu, Korea.


Foreign body (FB) ingestion of children is a common pediatric emergency requiring medical attention. Pediatric emergency physicians and gastroenterologists often encounter nervous and distressed situations, because of children presenting with this condition in the common clinical practice. When determining the appropriate timing and indications for intervention, physicians should consider multiple patient- and FB-related factors. The utilization of a flexible endoscopy is considered safe and effective to use in these cases, with a high success rate, for the effective extraction of FBs from the gastrointestinal tract of a child. Additionally, a Foley catheter and a magnet-attached Levin tube have been used for decades in the case of FB removal. Although their use has decreased significantly in recent times, these instruments continue to be used for several indications. Using a Foley catheter for this purpose does not require special training and does not necessarily require sedation of the patient or fluoroscopy, which serve as advantages of utilizing this method for foreign object retrieval. An ingested magnet or iron-containing FB can be retrieved using a magnet-attached tube, and can be effective to retrieve an object from any section of the upper gastrointestinal tract that can be reached. Simple and inexpensive devices such as Foley catheters and magnet-attached tubes can be used in emergencies such as with the esophageal impaction of disk batteries if endoscopy cannot be performed immediately (e.g., in rural areas and/or in patients presenting at midnight in a facility, especially in those without access to endoscopes or emergency services, or in any situation that warrants urgent removal of a foreign object).


Foreign bodies; Foley catheterization; Magnets; Endoscopy; Esophagus; Children

MeSH Terms

Foreign Bodies*
Gastrointestinal Tract*
Upper Gastrointestinal Tract
Urinary Catheterization
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