Aim: We report a rare and unusual case of a patient with an ingested fishbone which migrated from the oropharynx to the anterior compartment of the retropharyngeal space and then to the deep neck space in the nasopharynx (i.e. the carotid space). This report aims to describe a successful, minimally invasive method of foreign body removal which avoided both major skull base surgery and any potential life-threatening complications. A secondary aim is to highlight the role of intra-operative fluoroscopy, an under-used tool.Case report: We present a 67-year-old man with a history of fish bone impaction but no fish bone visible on plain X-ray or flexible endoscopy. The diagnosis of fish bone lodged in the retropharyngeal space was confirmed by computed tomography. Surgical exploration of the anterior retropharyngeal space failed to locate the fish bone, as it had migrated to a new, unknown location. Intra-operative fluoroscopy was vital for the removal of the fish bone, as it was impossible to see with the naked eye and had migrated from its previously imaged position. The fish bone was finally retrieved bimanually using external pressure on the submandibular region, which displaced the fish bone, and fluoroscopic guidance, which assisted its removal from the nasopharyngeal lumen.Conclusion: To the best of our knowledge, this is the first reported case of bimanual, intra-operative, fluoroscopy-guided, intra-luminal removal of a migratory fish bone from the deep neck space in this region of the nasopharynx.
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