Following what was described as an unbelievably unfortunate “slip in a bathroom”, a man has undergone an operation to have a shower head removed from his rectum.
As documented in BMJ Case Reports this week, doctors at Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital in New Delhi, India, were faced with a 26-year-old patient who had a small hand-held shower head lodged in his rectum. While the shower head still had a lengthy plastic pipe attached to it, the man was unable to remove the object and sought some much-needed medical attention. The doctors noted that he had “a history of accidentally slipping in the toilet, leading to insertion of hand shower in the rectum.”
Other than being in a fair amount of discomfort, he appeared to be in remarkably good shape. His vital signs were perfectly normal and there was no bleeding or perforation. However, this is obviously a problem that needed to be solved ASAP.
X-rays and CT imaging of the abdomen and pelvis were used to show the position and exact size of the shower head. The physicians estimated that the object was around 15 centimeters (5.9 inches) deep into his rectum.
He was promptly put under general anesthetic and the foreign object was gently removed from his anus. This guy was actually very fortunate in the end. He was discharged from hospital after resting for 48 hours, hopefully, wiser from the experience.
The doctors wrote that this kind of thing usually happens “accidentally or for autoerotic purposes”, although medical professionals have dealt with cases relating to drug trafficking and sexual assaults. Over two-thirds of the patients with this complaint are male and in their 30s or 40s. The doctors noted that it’s often very hard to know the full story behind the condition because of the “high level of embarrassment and social stigma”, as was the case with this patient.
"Though the patient reported accidental insertion of the shower head and denied voluntary insertion, there is a high suspicion of voluntary insertion for auto-erotic purpose," their case report reads.
“Foreign bodies in the rectum are commonly confronted worldwide in the surgical emergency,” it continues. “A large variety of objects have been reported, including bottles, cans, glass bulbs, stones, small rods, fruits and vegetables, vibrators, dildos and toys.”
As embarrassing as it may seem, there is nothing too strange or gross for doctors to deal with – they really have seen it all before. Just last month, there were reports of a 4-year-old girl who had to undergo surgery after a rubber band became embedded in her flesh.