Sword swallowing appeals to a few people but for most of us it is something that is hard to swallow.


Dimensions of a "sword": >= 38 cm long and >= 2 cm wide



(1) sore (sword) throat

(2) shoulder pain (secondary to irritation of the diaphragm)

(3) trauma

(4) pain

(5) hemorrhage

(6) subcutaneous emphysema

(7) paraesophageal abscess

(8) pleurisy

(9) pericarditis


Trauma may take the form of:

(1) ulceration

(2) laceration

(3) scissoring (when 2 or more blades are present)

(4) perforation of pharynx or esophagus


Risk factors for injury:

(1) recent painful performance, presumably with trauma

(2) swallowing multiple swords

(3) forcing a sword

(4) swallowing a sword with an unusual shape

(5) distraction during performance

(6) physical contact during performance

(7) embellishments during a performance

(8) older age

(9) pre-existing disease in the esophagus

(10) being stressed or nervous

(11) mucosal dryness


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