Ultrasound-Guided Removal of Soft Tissue Foreign Bodies

Keywords: Foreign bodes, Ultrasound, Local anesthesia.


Background: Foreign bodies in the soft tissues are common, and usually consist of wooden or metal splinters or glass shards. Failure to remove foreign bodies (FBs) may lead to infection, inflammation or possible allergies.
Objectives: To study the advantage of using ultrasound guidance removal of foreign bodies in soft tissues, which at times mostly are difficult to access, costly and technically challenging.
Methods: This is a retrospective study, which was carried out at Ibn-Alnafees hospital in Baghdad from the first of January 2010 to the first of January 2017 on cases with suspected foreign bodies found in the soft tissues. Ultrasound systems were used with high-frequency linear-array probes to specify their locations in order to remove the foreign bodies.
Results: Forty-four patients (42 males and 2 females aged 6 to 68 years, with a mean age 33.4 years and SD ± 13.2 were included. One patient had 2 foreign bodies in his body, another patient had 3 foreign bodies (total 47 foreign bodies). These patients underwent ultrasound-guided removal of the foreign body; two patients were operated upon after few days to remove a foreign body for a second attempt under local anesthesia. Six patients had wound infections postoperatively.
Conclusions: Ultrasound-guided removal of a foreign body found in the soft tissues is a good alternative to surgery as it is relatively straightforward, inexpensive, repeatable and carries a low risk of complications. In addition, failure to remove a foreign body does not preclude traditional surgical removal.