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Do Not Pass Go
This child swallowed the Scottie dog Monopoly™ game piece. It can be seen easily because it is metallic. It became lodged in the esophagus at a common location, the cricopharyngeus muscle at the junction of the neck and chest. Because it did not pass on its own—most likely due to its size and irregular margins— esophagoscopy was required. This entails passing a rigid scope into the esophagus and under direct visualization, retrieving the object with surgical instruments. To do this, anesthesia is required.
Young, and sometimes not so young, children casually place objects in their mouths. Either they accidentally swallow it or are hit or trip and without realizing it, swallow the object. They don’t remember that their mothers had always told them that nothing goes in your mouth except food.
Kathleen McCarten is an associate professor of diagnostic imaging (clinical).
Alpert Medical School