SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.48 issue2The undergraduate paediatric surgery curriculum in Nigeria - how have we fared?Stump appendicitis - a cautionary tale of appendicitis after appendicectomy author indexsubject indexarticles search
Home Pagealphabetic serial listing  

Services on Demand



Related links

  • On index processCited by Google
  • On index processSimilars in Google


South African Journal of Surgery

On-line version ISSN 2078-5151
Print version ISSN 0038-2361

S. Afr. j. surg. vol.48 n.2 Cape Town May. 2010




Saw-toothed fish bone ingestion: A method for propulsion



Emily BroadisI; Wakisa MulwafuII

IM.B. CH.B., M.R.C.S. (GLASG..); Department of Surgery, College of Medicine, Chichiri, Private Bag 414, Blantyre 3, Malawi
IIF.C.O.R.L. (S.A.); Department of Surgery, College of Medicine, Chichiri, Private Bag 414, Blantyre 3, Malawi




We describe the case of an 11-year-old girl who presented with a lump in her neck. On exploration a 4 cm saw-toothed fish bone was extracted from the soft tissue of the anterior triangle of the neck.
Ingested fish bones are a common presentation in accident and emergency departments, but there are only a small number of reports of migration through the pharynx into soft tissues. Rare complications can include oesophageal perforation, haematoma formation, retropharyngeal abscesses and recurrent infections. To the best of our knowledge this is the first reported case of migration of an ingested fish bone in Malawi.


“Full text available only in PDF format”



1. Chung SM, Kim HS, Park EH. Migrating pharyngeal foreign bodies: a series of four cases of saw-toothed fish bones. Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol 2008; 265: 1125-1129.         [ Links ]

2. Ng SK, Tong MC. A swallowed fish bone. Hong Kong Med J 2009; 15: 7374.         [ Links ]

3. Maseda E, Ablanedo A, Baldó C, Fernández MJ. Migration and extrusion from the upper digestive tract to the skin of the neck of a foreign body (fish bone). Acta Otorrinolaringol Esp 2006; 57: 474-476.         [ Links ]

4. Ambali A, Kabwazi H, Malekano L, et al. Relationship between local and scientific names of fishes in Lake Malawi. African Study Monographs 2001; 22: 123-154.         [ Links ]

5. AkazawaY, Watanabe S, Nobukiyo S, et al. The management of possible fishbone ingestion. Auris Nasus Larynx 2004; 31: 413-416.         [ Links ]

6. Braverman I, Gomori JM, Polv O, Saah D. The role of CT imaging in the evaluation of cervical esophageal foreign bodies. J Otolaryngol 1993; 22: 311-314.         [ Links ]

Creative Commons License All the contents of this journal, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License