Ingested tongue piercing

Case contributed by Ashesh Ishwarlal Ranchod
Diagnosis certain


The patient ingested a foreign body 2 days prior. Normal abdominal clinical examination.

Patient Data

Age: 15 years
Gender: Female

There is a metallic foreign body projected within the ascending colon. There is no free intraperitoneal air, with a non-specific bowel gas pattern. There is an incidental dextroscoliosis of the thoracolumbar spine. The abdominal skeleton is otherwise normal.

Case Discussion

This patient ingested a tongue ring during her sleep two nights prior. Tongue rings usually consist of a straight barbell with a decoration on the one end and a ball or half ball on the other end. More usually it consists of a barbell and two balls on each end with a fancy design, logo or glitter on one or both balls. In this instance, the absence of the second ball or decorative piece predisposed to the ease of ingesting the ring during the patient's sleep. Fortunately, there were no complications identified on plain films of the neck, chest and abdomen. The ring is expected to pass further without incident since its identified within the ascending colon having successfully navigated the ileocecal valve.

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