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Medicine News of the Weird Surgery

“I don’t know how it got there. No, really!”

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about a favorite topic for amusement among general surgeons, rectal foreign bodies, particularly the strange things people like to stick up their bottoms for whatever reason. I pointed out at the time that sometimes the excuses such patients make when seeking medical attention are a bit–shall we say?–hard to believe. It figures that a mere three weeks later someone would send me an example of something different, a hospital administrator not accepting what seems like an absolutely honest explanation for how a foreign object got up there:

Doctors in central Kenya have successfully removed an empty half-litre beer bottle from a man’s colon, a report said Friday, but how it got there remains a mystery.

The 26cm bottle was removed on Monday from the colon of the 33-year-old man after two operations in a Kiambu District Hospital, about 20km from the capital, the Daily Metro newspaper reported.

“The first operation was not successful, forcing us to perform a second one, which went fine,” said the hospital’s administrator Patrick Okoth.

Although the man, whose identity was not disclosed, said he had pushed the bottle through his rectum, Okoth said it was nearly impossible for the man to have done that by himself.

“It would have been too painful. He would have had to use a whole length of his arm,” Okoth said, adding that the bottle inflicted “no damage at all” in the man’s internal organs.

I sense a bit of denial here. Apparently Mr. Okoth has not worked in hospitals in the U.S.

Of course, this could also be an urban legend; I’ve had difficulty finding the primary news report, which I sought mainly to find the photograph of the X-ray of the beer bottle, the better to add it to my collection. Given that, I’m not entirely convinced that this story actually happened.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

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