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Am J Mens Health. 2017 May;11(3):684-692. doi: 10.1177/1557988316680929. Epub 2016 Nov 29.

A Management Algorithm for Retained Rectal Foreign Bodies.

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1 The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago.


Few authors have proposed therapeutic protocols to manage retained rectal foreign bodies (RFBs). All patients with retained RFBs in hospitals across Trinidad and Tobago over 5 years were identified. Hospital records were retrieved and manually reviewed to extract the following data: demographics, history, foreign body retrieved, clinical signs at presentation, management strategy, duration of hospitalization, and morbidity and mortality. There were 10 patients with RFBs over the study period. The annual incidence of this phenomenon was 0.15 per 100,000 population. All patients were men at a mean age of 50.6 years (range: 27-83; SD = 15.3) who presented after a voluntary delay of 1.4 days (range: 0.5-2.5; SD = 0.7). Only one patient gave an accurate history on presentation, but all eventually admitted to self-insertion for sexual gratification. At presentation, one patient had a spontaneous rectal perforation (10%). The remaining nine patients had attempts at bedside transanal extraction, which was unsuccessful in 89% (8/9) of cases. The RFB was pushed beyond the grasp of forceps, making removal under anesthesia unsuccessful in 62.5% (5/8) cases. These patients required more invasive extraction methods including transanal minimally invasive surgery (1), laparoscopic-assisted advancement with transanal retrieval (1), and open surgery with transmural extraction and anastomoses (3). A management algorithm is proposed for the management of RFBs. Important points in this algorithm are the importance of clinician-patient rapport, early surgical referral, avoidance of bedside extraction in the emergency room, early examination under anesthesia, and the inclusion of emerging therapies such as transanal minimally invasive surgery.


extraction; foreign; rectum; retained; sigmoidoscopy

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