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From question on page 477

The surgical decision was to adopt a conservative approach and not to proceed to a laparotomy. Subsequent plain abdominal radiographs demonstrated the passage of the blades into the sigmoid colon and thereafter they passed rectally, uneventfully!

The majority (80–90%) of foreign bodies entering the gastrointestinal tract pass uneventfully, especially if they pass through the gastric pylorus and traverse the duodenal sweep. The remaining 20% require either endoscopic or surgical removal.

In the case described, the passage of blades beyond the pylorus into the small bowel resulted in no ill effect and the uneventful passing of all three blades per rectum. We have shown that once sharp objects have passed beyond the pylorus, an expectant approach may be safely adopted provided the patient is under close medical observation. The human body has developed many strategies to deal with a range of environmental insults, none perhaps more challenging than the safe passage of shaving blades through the gastrointestinal tract!

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