Button battery in esophagus

Case contributed by Dr Yair Glick


Possibly aspirated or swallowed something.

Patient Data

Age: 15 months
Gender: Male

Large button battery (19 mm diameter) lodged in oesopagus at level of T2. Trachea pushed to right.


Battery after endoscopic removal, showing signs of corrosion.

Photo courtesy of Dr Konstantin Cherniyak

Case Discussion

Although the battery was extracted from the upper esophagus a mere 2 hours after its ingestion, it had already corroded and had begun to erode the esophageal wall.
The toddler was admitted for observation. Augmentin and Zantac were administered. After proving asymptomatic for 2 days, he was discharged.

Button/coin/disk batteries lodged in the esophagus must be retrieved immediately, as the mucosa can close a curcuit, resulting in an electrical burn or even perforation. Older batteries contained toxic metals, such as mercury or cadmium, for which a chelating agent was given if they leaked.

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