What is the role of mechanical extraction in the removal of ear foreign bodies?

Updated: May 08, 2018
  • Author: Angela On-Kee Kwong, MD; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
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Position the patient comfortably. Briefly repeat the ear examination while observing the location and depth of the foreign body. Move the otoscope lens to one side and carefully introduce bayonet forceps or alligator forceps through the otoscope lens. Advance the forceps incrementally through the external auditory canal until the foreign body is grasped. Gently withdraw the forceps, with attached foreign body, from the auditory canal. Always check for complete removal of the foreign body, perforation of the tympanic membrane, and abrasions of the auditory canal. See video below.

Mechanical extraction with alligator forceps.

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