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Case report
Challenging removal of a knotted nasogastric tube following insertion under general anaesthetic


A 74-year-old man presented with acute small bowel obstruction secondary to recurrence of a caecal tumour. The patient underwent laparotomy and formation of loop ileostomy and had a nasogastric tube (NGT) inserted in the theatre. A decision was made to remove the patient’s NGT postoperatively, which was found to be stuck. High-quality imaging demonstrated a knot in the tube within the nasopharynx; so, subsequent removal via the oral route necessitated sedation. This case highlights the importance of considering rare or unusual complications of NGT insertion when a patient describes more pain or discomfort than would otherwise be expected. The clarity of imaging highlights clearly the underlying findings when compared with the few other documented cases. We offer a number of learning points specific to this complication.

  • ear
  • nose and throat/otolaryngology
  • surgery
  • general surgery

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