Management of foreign bodies in the rectum.

Management of foreign bodies in the rectum.

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OBJECTIVE: The discovery of foreign bodies (FB) in the rectum is an infrequent clinical problem. Most commonly, FB are introduced through the anal passage or reach the rectum after oral ingestion. We describe our experience in the diagnosis and treatment of FB retained in the rectum. METHOD: From 1997 to 2004, data were collected prospectively in 30 patients (20 men and 10 women; median age 42.5 years). Extraction method, size and type of object, and postextraction evolution were reviewed. RESULTS: The FB was introduced anally in 16 cases and by oral ingestion in 14. Principal associated factors were: mental disorder in 11, penitentiary confinement in two, and drug and alcohol intake in two. Recent sexual activity had taken place in 14 cases. The size and nature of the FB were varied. The most frequent symptom was constipation with or without pelvic or anal discomfort (n = 23, 77%). Treatment consisted of spontaneous ejection (n = 2), digital extraction with or without enemas (n = 10), digital extraction under local/regional anaesthesia after fragmentation (n = 11) and regional exploratory laparotomy under general anaesthesia (n = 7). Grade I rectal trauma was the most common (n = 23, 77%). Six patients required colostomy. Four patients (13.5%) suffered complications and none died. Only 17 patients were hospitalized, with a mean stay of 6 days. All patients recovered without sequelae. CONCLUSION: The diagnosis of rectal FB should be suspected when faced with low pelvic or perianal abdominal pain and/or rectal haemorrhage within the context of an unconvincing story in patients without a history of recent instrumental rectal exploration for therapeutic or diagnostic purposes. Because of potential complications, FB in the rectum should be considered a serious condition that must be treated without delay.

Media title: 
Colorectal disease
Quartile: 
3