In the recent literature there appears to be a revival of interest in the use of Foley catheters in removing foreign objects from both orifices of the alimentary canal.1-3

During the peak of the Byzantine period, foreign bodies were extracted from the esophagus by having the patient swallow a small, dry sponge on a string, allowing it to expand in the stomach and then withdrawing the sponge. Paulus Aegineta (seventh century) wrote in Book Six of his Epitome of Medicine:

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