“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.