28 June 2006

A Mystery Solved

You may recall the gentleman who abused his rectum by inserting (or having inserted for him) various items not intended for anal placement. The one identifiable item ws a broken bar glass (note: it was not broken when it was inserted), but the other radio-opague item was more difficult to identify. At laparotomy, the surgeon discovered this:
And yes, that is a socket from a wrench set. It was, the surgeon reflected, the largest socket she had ever seen.

No, this is not a picture of the actual item -- it has been lost to posterity, down the biohazard bag, as it should be. The surgeon estimated the item to be at least 1.5-2 inches in diameter.

People are amazing.


  1. Sounds like it "lost to posterity" before it was removed, too. ;-)

  2. Wow. I'm speechless.

    And now I'm afraid of socket wrenches... not that I had an affinty to them in the first place...

  3. From the patient's pleasure-seeking perspective (!) I don't get the socket. I showed the initial xray to one of our FPs who worked in San Francisco, and he said the proximal object was probably a vibrating egg (sex toy); the patient then sat on the glass until it touched the vibrating egg, transmitting the vibrations to his anal sphincter (more bang for the buck, so to speak). That made sense to me, in that weird place where we try to understand the patient's perspective. The socket, I just don't get, unless there was a powerful magnet involved, which he didn't bring to the ED. Did he have a retrieval plan for it (before the glass broke), other than taking a giant sh*t? People are endlessly amazing...

  4. In my surgical residency, the chief resident's room had a nice display of sundry objects removed from recti. Lightbulbs, hatchet handles, candles, a marschino cherry jar -- with cherries. One object was sent to pathology after removal, and the path report remained posted in the ER for many months: "Normal cucumber, with feces."

  5. I used to take x-rays and the one thing that these patients all had in common was that they had no idea how foreign objects ended up in their colons.

  6. why am i thinking of "sit on it, potsie?"

  7. One thing I've decided upon, after reading so many medblogs, is that if I ever end up in the ER needing to have something removed...

    I'm just gonna go ahead and fess up to enjoying large items in places where most people don't. I don't get embarrassed easily, anyways.

    Yall at least deserve a new twist on the 'uh, you put that there for fun??' cases.

    It would be fine of you all, though, to encourage your patients to stick to things that flare at the base ;-)

  8. What really still boggles my mind,(not being a medical professional and all) are the logistics of getting a glass up your...well, you know.

    And I'm seconding the "people are amazing" comment.


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