Cervical oesophageal perforation secondary to food consumption in a well-appearing patient

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A 71-year-old woman presented to the emergency department 8 days after ingesting fish with mild neck pain but otherwise demonstrated no signs of infection. X-rays were negative but CT imaging demonstrated a curvilinear radiodense object extending from the posterior cervical oesophagus through the right thyroid lobe terminating in the neck just a few millimetres from the external carotid artery. Rigid oesophagoscopy and direct laryngoscopy were negative and the neck was explored for the foreign body, which ultimately was encountered after a painstaking dissection of the right neck that included skeletonisation of the recurrent laryngeal nerve. Her postoperative recovery was uneventful and after a 3-day course of intravenous antibiotics she was discharged on oral antibiotics, in good condition and tolerating a soft diet.

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