Document Type


Publication Date



School of Medicine


Behavioral Medicine and Psychiatry


Intentional ingestion of foreign objects, a form of self-injurious behavior, is rarely discussed in the medical literature but often requires extensive evaluation, management, and resources. It can be especially problematic for gastroenterologists, who are often consulted for removal of the foreign body. Pica is the psychiatric diagnosis for intentional ingestion of nonnutritive objects and is most commonly seen in prison inmates and those diagnosed with intellectual disability or psychiatric illness. This case report presents a challenging case of pica, highlighting the complexity involved in diagnosis and the need for early psychiatric intervention. It also aims to provide a general review of the literature and practical recommendations to assist with managing this form of self-injurious behavior in the inpatient setting. Collaborative efforts among specialties in addition to primary prevention are vital to successful management of these patients.

Source Citation

Guinan, D., Drvar, T., Brubaker, D., Ang-Rabanes, M., Kupec, J., & Marshalek, P. (2019). Intentional Foreign Body Ingestion: A Complex Case of Pica. Case Reports in Gastrointestinal Medicine, 2019, 1–3.


Copyright © 2019 D. Guinan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.



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