When a 70-year-old man visited Canberra Hospital’s emergency department, he was complaining of bleeding genitalia.
That is when doctors found a 10cm long steel fork inside the man’s penis. He then admitted that he had inserted a piece of cutlery into his urethra after a sexual adventure went wrong.
The attempt, unfortunately, backfired, and it became stuck, leaving him in considerable pain. It took him 12 hours to pluck up the courage to seek medical help.
According to the report in The International Journal of Surgery, the fork was so firmly lodged inside the man’s body that doctors could not initially see the cause of the discomfort,
Once it was located, ‘multiple retrieval methods were contemplated with success achieved via forceps traction and copious lubrication.’ The procedure was successful, and the elderly man was sent home with no long-term damage.
In an article entitled ‘An Unusual Urethral Foreign Body,’ it is very rare to find alien objects lodged in the lower urinary tract.
Many unexpected objects have been retrieved from other parts of the body, including toothbrushes, pencils, Allen wrenches, plastic cups, light bulbs, thermometers, plants and vegetables, leeches, snakes, wax, and glue.
Doctors Krishanth Naidu, Maurice Mulcahy and Amanda Chung said they published the unusual case ‘to create discussion among the medical fraternity given the great management challenge faced by the oddity and infrequency with which a fork is encountered in the penile urethra.’
In a series of 20 adult cases over nine years, foreign body insertions into the lower urinary tract have a low incidence, with men 1.7 times more likely to engage in the behavior than women, according to the report.
They said that practice tends to occur ‘ in states of pathological masturbation, substance abuse, and intoxication.’ In many cases, embarrassed patients attempted to retrieve the item themselves, risking injury and foreign body migration.
‘The danger is infection leading to death because ashamed patients often delay medical treatment,’ they said.
Doctors try to avoid surgery in such situations, instead choosing an option that would minimize trauma and preserve erectile function.
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