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Deborah, Nurse (RN)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 3217
Experience:  Registered NP - Multispeciality
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My brother accidentally swallowed a plastic pen cap and it ...

Customer Question

My brother accidentally swallowed a plastic pen cap and it is lodged in his throat.
He has been to @ 30 doctors and has had every imagineable test and no one can find what he is talking about... yet my brother feels the cap inside his throat and has been sick for the last 2 years since this happened.
What do you suggest?
Submitted: 10 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Deborah replied 10 years ago.

If he has been to a board certified gastroenterologist and has had a CT scan and also an endoscopy and nothing has been found, then it is important that he now consider seeking psychiatric intervention to help him cope with this obsession with this imaginary pen cap.

A CT scan and endoscopy would definietly show the pen cap if it were actually there.
Deborah and 2 other Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 10 years ago.
This is exactly the response that he has been getting.
I was personally on the phone with him the night that he swallowed the pen cap, so it is not an obsession he has nor is it imaginary at all.
It has however taking it's toll on his physical and mental state of being.
I was so hoping to hear something different and no I am not also in denial of this.
We know our own bodies and you know when something is not right.
Thank you but I do wish to request a refund!
Expert:  Deborah replied 10 years ago.
He could have very well swallowed the pen cap and then passed it via the digestive tract into his stool with out noticing. This is not up for debate, as these things occur quite often.

You haven't mentioned if he had the testing I recommended. These would be 100% accurate as a diagnostic tool.

I agree, individuals do know when something is not right with their bodies; however, in the case of your brother, he may have been so traumatized by this incident that he does not believe the pen cap is actually gone.

In this type of situation, one's mind can consume the person to such a degree that they truly exhibit symptoms such as your brother describes as the pen cap still being there.

What I would suggest is that your brother go to a gastroenterologist, have another CT scan and upper endoscopy. He should explain his concerns and history to the doctor and ask to view not only the actual CT scan, but also the video endoscopy so he can see first hand that there is nothing there.

If he is still not convinced, the as this is impacting his well being, he would really need to consider a consult with a psychiatrist.

I work in the OR on a daily basis. I have provide countless patients with anesthesia during endoscopy procedures. Several were of patients that had a tiny fish bone stuck in their throat. The physcians were able to remove these, so it goes without saying a pen cap if "there" would be visible and easy to retrieve.
Customer: replied 10 years ago.

As I mentioned in my initial notes he did have an MRI and an upper Endoscopy.

Thank you for your helpful comments!
Expert:  Deborah replied 10 years ago.
But, in view of the gact that he is still convinced that the pen cap is stil lodged his body, for absolye peace of mind either two thing must occur. He should either repat the tests and be allowed to review the results for himself or the tests need to be repeated and with him being shown the negative results.