Rectal foreign body
Rectal foreign bodies are in general, large foreign items found in the rectum that can be assumed to have been inserted through the anus, rather than reaching the rectum via the mouth. Smaller, ingested foreign bodies, such as bones eaten with food, can sometimes be found stuck in the rectum upon x-ray.
Rectal foreign bodies, and amateur attempts to remove them, can result in perforation of the bowel, which is a life-threatening medical emergency. Medical literature covers examples of items retrieved from patients' rectums. Rectal foreign objects are also the subject of a number of urban legends.
References in the media
- The television show ER makes several references to this, such as when Dr. Benton holds up a lower abdominal x-ray with a flashlight lodged in it, noting, "The patient claimed that he fell on it while changing a lightbulb. Naked." Another episode has a medical student asking Dr. John Carter about the oddest object removed from a rectum. Dr. Carter responds that it was a bowling trophy.
- The television show Scrubs has made two references to this phenomenon. In "My Two Dads" Turk gives his then girlfriend Carla a pen from what he thinks is the lost and found box, only to discover that the hospital has no lost and found box, and he has mistakenly given his girlfriend a pen from the "Ass Box," comprised entirely of items removed from peoples rectums. The second was when a patient came in with a lightbulb in his rectum, and Dr. Cox, Turk and the Janitor work together to figure out a way to remove the bulb without breaking it.
- The Sun newspaper runs an annual competition for the largest object inserted into the rectum during that calendar year. A prize of the weight in gold of the next stool produced after the title being awarded is presented by Rupert Murdoch.
- The television show House also made two references to rectal foreign bodies. In the first, Gregory House is tending to a clinic patient who refuses to sit, from which he deduces the object's size and location. Upon learning the patient has an MP3 player in his rectum, House asks "Is it because of the size, the shape ... or the pounding bass-line?". The second reference comes when House is confronting his boss, Lisa Cuddy, explaining that the object he has won him second place in the "Weirdest Object Pulled From A Bodily Orifice" and that she does not want to know what the first place-getter was, but it does rhyme with "fucchini".
- On MTV's Jackass, Ryan Dunn goes to the hospital with a HotWheel wrapped in a condom in his rectum.
- On an episode of Seinfeld, George Costanza's father falls on a small sculpture that Cosmo Kramer made, resulting in it being lodged in Mr. Costanza's rectum.
- Busch D B, Starling J R. Rectal foreign bodies: Case reports and a comprehensive review of the world's literature. Surg 1986; 100: 512-519. See also the 1995 Literature laureates of the Ig Nobel Prize.
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