Although foreign body ingestion and impaction in the pharynx or hypopharynx are quite commonly encountered at our institution, foreign body impaction in tongue tissue is rare. Six cases of foreign bodies embedded in the tongue were identified in a retrospective review spanning the years 1998 to 2007. All the foreign bodies were fish bones. Four of these patients required only tongue exploration to remove the bone; one required a partial glossectomy because of difficulties locating the bone; and one required incision and drainage of an intraglossal abscess that had developed, as well as a tracheostomy. All foreign bodies were successfully removed, with none of the patients experiencing altered sensation or problems with tongue mobility afterwards.
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