Foreign body removal

If you or a child have swallowed or lodged an object inside a nostril, ear or another body part, we can help. Come to urgent care for us to assess the foreign body for safe removal.

Foreigh body removal | Foreign body in ear | Urgent Care | Dr Lorraine Forbes Howick Auckland

Have a life threatening emergency?PHONE 111

What is foreign body removal?

Toddlers and children are the most likely suspects when it comes to swallowing things they should not. Also, this applies to putting small objects up a nose or down an ear.

However, accidents happen and adults can inhale or consume things they shouldn’t too!

Common foreign bodies needing removal at East Care, objects we see often include:

  • coins
  • peas, corn kernals 
  • beads or buttons
  • small toys

Swallowing or lodging a button, battery or a magnet is a medical emergency, call 111

If you think your child has swallowed a button battery or a magnet call 111 for an ambulance. This applies to either of these being stuck in an ear or nose. 
Alternatively, go straight to Middlemore Hospital. Unfortunately, a battery can get lodged in the windpipe and burn the tissue with severe consequences including death.
TIP: first aid is to give honey 10ml every 10mins while you get to hospital.

When to get a foreign body removed at urgent care

Treatment for a foreign object is stuck in an ear:

For foreign body removal from ears, you do need to come to see a GP. Whilst most items can be easily removed with medical tweezers, someone trained to do this will not damage the ear canal. Leaving a foreign body in an ear can lead to infection. Also, if the GP can’t remove the item, they will refer you to get the ear suctioned. Alternatively, we can refer you to an ENT Specialist.

Treatment for a foreign object lodged in the nose:

From popcorn kernels to plants and insects – we’ve seen it all.

If a foreign object is lodged in an eye:

Do not try to dislodge any large foreign objects from an eye yourself. Cover your eye and come to Urgent Care immediately. Find out more about eye injuries, first aid and care.

Did you know the most common items to get stuck in ears are cotton buds? 

Treatment for a foreign object that has been swallowed:

Fortunately, small objects generally will pass through the digestive system. However, see our guide on what to do if someone has swallowed an object.

Symptoms your child might have swallowed an object (foreign body)

Babies and toddlers can’t tell us if they have eaten something they shouldn’t have. And for those that are already verbal sometimes they don’t want to tell us if they have put something into an ear or a nose.

Watch out the following symptoms that tamariki might need help.

Signs your child might have swallowed a foreign object:

  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Dribbling or drooling
  • Pain in the chest or neck (which they might be rubbing)
  • Tummy pains
  • Vomiting
  • Call an ambulance immediately if they are having trouble breathing, including wheezing 

Signs your child might have a foreign body object stuck in their ear or nose:

  • Rubbing or pulling on the ear
  • More irritable than normal
  • Talking louder than normal or not hearing
  • Redness or swelling
  • Difficulty breathing
  • A nose bleed
  • Runny nose or discharge
East Care Health Medical Centre urgent care Fees

How to contact us

  • Address: 260 Botany Road, Howick 2013, Auckland
  • Postal: PO Box 38306, Howick 2145, Auckland

Complementary onsite services

At our Botany Road premises, we offer a number of onsite services including a Pharmacy and Radiology to ensure your visit to the Centre is as stress free as possible.

Health care professionals providing advance care plans

Frequently asked questions

To join our clinic, you first need to fill out the patient enrolment forms to register with the PHO that we belong to. This is a Ministry of Health requirement. You will need to provide proof of identity and eligibility which may include the following forms of identification:

  • NZ Passport or NZ birth certificate
  • International passport with resident visa OR work visa of minimum 24-month duration

On the enrolment form you need to indicate which of our doctors (currently taking new patients) that you would like to be registered with.

Yes. As part of completing your enrollment, we request that you have a new patient screening appointment with one of our Nursing or Medical Centre Assistant team members.

This new patient appointment enables our team to work with you to better understand your current health and wellbeing.

Following the new patient appointment as above, you can book your first consultation with your nominated doctor.

The length of your first appointment with your new doctor will be as follows:

Age Screening appointment GP appointment Total
0-13 yrs - 15 minutes
15 minutes
13-17 yrs - 15 minutes
15 minutes
18-39 yrs 15 minutes
15 minutes*
30 minutes
40+ yrs 15 minutes
30 minutes
45 minutes

* Note: if you have a chronic condition, please make a booking for 30 minutes.

Payment is required at the time of consultation

You will get full access to the patient portal “My Indici” once you have completed your screening appointment.

Payment is required at time of consultation. Please note that unpaid accounts will incur an additional $10 monthly administration cost.

There may be additional costs for treatments/tests/materials

We recommend that you book your future appointments via your patient portal My Indici.

If you need an urgent appointment, then please phone the clinic. We have doctors available to discuss your urgent health needs on the day.

All consultations are by appointment only.

Patient portals are secure online sites where patients can access their health information and interact with their general practice. Please give us call on (09) 265 1325 or send us an email at, and we can set up your account.

We recommend that you plan ahead and request your repeat medicines via your patient portal My Indici two weeks before you run out. If you do not have access to a portal, you can phone us and leave a message with the nurse to organise this. Our doctors use an electronic prescribing system which can send your prescription to your local pharmacy (please specify name and location).
Under 14 years free
14-17 years $14
18+ years $16
Urgent prescription $27.50
The results of tests that have been ordered by our Doctors will be available on My Indici when they have been reviewed. If your test results are of concern you will be contacted by one of our team.

We are open Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5.00pm.

For health services after hours visit East Care Accident & Medical, 260 Botany Road, Golflands, Auckland 2013. Their phone is 09 277 1516.

These are consultation prices only.

Under 14 Years - Free 14 - 17 years - $14 18 years & over - $16

Note charge is the same for in person or by phone or video as you are still receiving the same high quality health provider assessment, diagnosis and planning.

We understand that things can change on the day, but we ask that you call us to advise that you are not able to make your appointment. If we do not hear from you minimum 2 hours prior to your scheduled time, you will receive an invoice for this missed appointment.