Tracheobronchial foreign bodies have never been so strange!
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Background: In the present study, we aimed to present our experience about retrieval of foreign bodies over a 28-year period. Methods: We retrospectively analyzed the files of 22 patients (18 males, 4 females; mean age 34.9 years; range, 9 months to 80 years) who required removal of a foreign body from the tracheobronchial tree between April 1987 and December 2015. Results: A total of 72.7% of the study group were 10 years old or older. There was no history of aspiration in 37% of cases, most often in older patients. Of the 22 unusual foreign bodies, seven (31.8%) were aspirated through permanent tracheostomy. The strangest foreign bodies were grass inflorescences, an acacia thorn, and construction nail. The foreign bodies were removed by rigid bronchoscopy in 18 patients, while thoracotomy was performed in two patients, and pericardiotomy in one patient. No intervention was required in one patient. Conclusion: The elderly and patients with tracheostomies may aspirate unusual foreign bodies. Even if there is no history of aspiration, the differential diagnosis of cough or dyspnea should include foreign body aspiration.