In the BMJ Case Report, the authors noted that the 2IRCCS Policlinico San Donato Surgery surgical team carried out the operation by dilating his rectum then extracting all sharp fragments without incident. Though the patient complained of abdominal pain, no remaining pieces were found. In addition to the surgery, the patient was also offered psychiatric help. He refused and was allowed to return home the following day. The patient recovered to full health three months after the incident.
This unusual case is far from unique, however. Known as “rectal foreign bodies”, the term refers to large, foreign items found in the rectum after being inserted into the anus, rather than reaching the rectum through the mouth. Rectal foreign bodies are also a form of colorectal trauma that are not uncommon in emergency departments all over the world. According to one 2012 study, cases of rectal foreign bodies are most prevalent in Eastern Europe and are relatively infrequent in Asia. The patients were male in the majority of cases and from a wide range of ages. The researchers also wrote that the most common reason for rectal foreign body insertion was auto eroticism or anal eroticism.
Many patients have attempted to remove the rectal foreign bodies themselves instead of seeking immediate medical attention. Embarrassment and fear usually play roles in these decisions; however, delaying medical help can result in more serious complications such as abdominal pain, fever, and rectal bleeding.
As for the reasons for insertion, the types of rectal foreign bodies is highly-varied. In the study, household objects like bottles and glasses accounted for over 42.2 percent of the rectal foreign bodies. Other cases have involved flashlights, broomsticks, Christmas ornaments, and even construction tools. Even more exceptional cases have popped over the years. (Related: SHOCKING: Chinese man has emergency surgery to remove a live eel from his intestines)
One such case featured an unemployed 27-year old man who injected liquid adhesive into his rectum for anal erotic purposes. The mixture eventually hardened into a 16-cm-long, 300-gram concrete cast of the rectum. The doctors who extricated the concrete enema were forced to cut open the young man's abdomen. A homeless man by the name of Neil Lansing gained infamy in 2011 when corrections deputies found the following items in his rectum: a cigarette, six matches, an empty syringe with an eraser over the needle, and a paper coupon, among many other items. A notable case from 1979 was that of the “most traveled foreign body”, a plastic vibrator that was lodged in the rectum of a 64-year old man; the patient endured a world trip with the vibrator inside him, and only had it removed after six months.
If one must make use of sex toys for anal stimulation, then doctors have cautioned against objects other than appropriate toys or fingers. “Sex toys and other objects can be a safe and enjoyable part of a healthy sex life but it’s important to use common sense when choosing an object,” explained Dr. Michael Brady, medical director at Terrence Higgins Trust. “Anything with sharp edges or made of glass can shatter and tear the internal lining, which can cause injury and infections, as well as giving viruses an easier route into the body. Anything that is inserted into the body should be smooth, non-fragile and easily retrievable.”
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