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Foreign Body in Throat

Children can swallow or inhale items that can be dangerous. It is critical to be evaluated by a pediatric otolaryngologist (ENT) who is specially trained to remove the foreign body as soon as possible, so it does not interfere with breathing or swallowing.

Foreign bodies left too long in a child’s lungs or airways can cause breathing difficulties, infection or trauma to the area. Children can become critically ill and need immediate treatment when a foreign body has possibly been swallowed or inhaled.

Experience and Expertise

Our experts—a team of pediatric ENTs at the Johns Hopkins Division of Pediatric Otolaryngology—are specially trained to examine and evaluate children who may have a foreign body lodged in their aerodigestive tract. Some evaluations are emergencies.

As this is uncommon, you want to make sure you are in the best hands possible.


Treatment may include:

  • Watchful waiting to see if a swallowed foreign body will be eliminated through natural means.
  • Endoscopic surgery using specialized instruments to remove the foreign body from the esophagus or breathing passages through the mouth. This procedure is done under general anesthesia.

Request an Appointment

Please call us at 443-997-6467 (443-997-OHNS) to make an appointment at any of our three locations.