J Korean Surg Soc.  2001 Aug;61(2):224-226.

Small Bowel Complication Due to Magnetic Foreign Body Ingestion in Childhood

  • 1Department of Surgery, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea. ytsong@cmc.cuk.ac.kr


Accidental ingestion of foreign body is a common problems in pediatric emergencies. The majority of such cases occur in children between 6 months and 3 years of age. 80% of ingested foreign bodies which reach the stomach will pass uneventfully through the gastrointestinal tract, however the remainder may cause obstruction, perforation or hemorrhage. When several magnets are ingested, they can be attracted to each other through the intestinal wall, causing necrosis and intestinal perforation or fistula, so they should be removed while they are still in the stomach. The authors experienced 2 cases of unusual small bowel complication caused by the ingestion of magnets. The first case was a 10-month-old male with ileal perforation due to 2 ingested magnetic beads, and the second case was a 22-month-old male with ileo-ileal fistula due to 7 ingested magnetic beads.


Foreign body ingestion; Magnetic beads; Gastrointestinal complication
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