NCBI ROFL: Superglue in the ear double feature: pros and cons.

By ncbi rofl | June 17, 2010 7:00 pm

earsA new technique for removing foreign bodies of the external auditory canal.

“Foreign bodies of the external auditory canal are a common and challenging problem. Several techniques have been described and utilized to remove the many objects placed in ears. The tightly wedged smooth round foreign body remains one of the most difficult to remove. A new method, using a cyanoacrylate adhesive (Super Glue) was used successfully to remove a soy bean in a 16-year-old male. The glue was placed on the blunt end of a cotton swab, which was then introduced into the canal to make contact with the bean. Removal was easy, safe, and effective. This procedure avoided the morbidity associated with many well known techniques, eg, the use of forceps, and may have prevented removal under general anesthesia.”

glue 1

A novel approach to the removal of superglue from the ear.

“The ability of superglue (a cyanoacrylate adhesive) to bond strongly and quickly to skin presents considerable problems when it is inserted into the ear. A case of a patient who inadvertently self-administered Bostik superglue into her left external auditory meatus is reported. The superglue was removed successfully, in the form of a cast, with warm three per cent hydrogen peroxide without damaging the meatus or the typanic membrane. The use of hydrogen peroxide to remove superglue from the ear has not been described previously.”

glue 2

Photo: flickr/darkpatator

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  • Rosanne McCamey

    Two years ago, my six year old granddaughter, whom I am raising, was taken to the emergency room at our local hospital with a magic bean that feel into her ear canal as she rolled over to get up from the floor. The doctor used super glue and he used way too much and the bean was glued into her ear canal. She was refered to a specialist who performed surgery to remove the bean! It was a BIG ordeal and at times, she is still bothered with ear problems…….not a goood idea, if the person using it does not know what they are doing!!

  • Foney

    with a magic bean that *feel* into her ear canal–creepy, those beans~


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NCBI ROFL is the brainchild of two Molecular and Cell Biology graduate students at UC Berkeley and features real research articles from the PubMed database (which is housed by the National Center for Biotechnology information, aka NCBI) that they find amusing (ROFL is a commonly-used internet acronym for "rolling on the floor, laughing"). Follow us on twitter: @ncbirofl


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