Foreign Body Removal in Interventional Radiology

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Your child is having an object removed from under the skin (ex. splinters, glass, etc.). A radiologist will use ultrasound or x-rays to find the object and attempt to take it out.

Some medicine will be put on the skin to numb it first, and your child may be given medicine by an anesthesiologist to keep him or her asleep while the object is being removed.

Before the procedure

  • Your child’s doctor will contact Interventional Radiology for removal of the object.
  • An x-ray or ultrasound may be done before your child comes to Interventional Radiology. This will show exactly where the object is, and if it can be removed.
  • If the removal cannot be done the same day as the x-ray or ultrasound, watch carefully for signs of infection: redness, swelling, pus, or fever of 101 degrees F by mouth. Call your child’s primary care physician if you notice any of these things.
  • The child should not eat or drink anything for 8 hours before this procedure if he or she is going to be under anesthetic (given a medicine that will keep him asleep) while the object is removed.

At the clinic for the procedure

  • Parents may stay with the child before, but not during the procedure. It will be done in a sterile place, such as an operating room.
  • Your child can usually go home after the procedure. If he or she has been given anesthetic, the child will be watched carefully in the hospital until he or she wakes up and is allowed to go home.
  • After the object is removed and your child is fully awake, he or she may have regular foods and drinks.
  • Your child’s doctor may prescribe antibiotics if the wound seems to be infected. If so, please make sure your child takes this medicine until it is gone, as prescribed.
  • The area of skin where the object was removed (the wound) will be covered with a bandage.

At home after the procedure

  • Leave the bandage on for 2 days, and then change it every day until the area is scabbed over or any open wounds have closed.
  • To change the bandage, first remove the old one. Clean the wound with a mixture of half hydrogen peroxide and half water. Put on a new, clean bandage.
  • Keep the wound area dry until it is healed.
  • Keep the site dry for 2 days.

Medicine for pain

  • If your child has pain or discomfort, you may give acetaminophen (Tylenol®). The amount depends on your child’s age and weight.
  • Your child’s doctor may want him or her to take a different medicine instead. If so, the doctor will give you a prescription.
  • Store all medicines out of the reach of children.
  • Always keep medicines in their original containers.

When to call the doctor

Call your child’s doctor if he or she has:

  • A fever of 101 degrees F (or higher) by mouth.
  • Redness at the site of the wound.
  • Swelling around the wound.
  • Pus from the wound.
  • Increasing pain at the wound site.
  • If your child is having any side effects that continue or are very bothersome.

Other information

If you have any questions after the procedure, please contact your child’s primary care doctor or the doctor who saw your child to remove the object.

Follow-up appointment

Please come to the office or clinic 10 minutes before your appointment time.

Foreign Body Removal in Interventional Radiology (PDF)

HH-II-226 1/15 Copyright 2015, Nationwide Children’s Hospital