Better out than in: a case series of retained rectal foreign bodies in a New York Community Hospital


  • Jane Tian Department of General Surgery, Flushing Hospital Medical Center, New York
  • Patrick Kiarie Saint George’s University School of Medicine, True Blue, Grenada, USA
  • Catherine Olang Saint George’s University School of Medicine, True Blue, Grenada, USA
  • Christina Sneed Saint George’s University School of Medicine, True Blue, Grenada, USA
  • Luis Fernandez Saint George’s University School of Medicine, True Blue, Grenada, USA
  • Andrew Miele Department of Clinical Research, Medisys Health Network, New York, USA
  • Stephen Curry Saint George’s University School of Medicine, True Blue, Grenada, USA
  • Martine A. Louis Department of General Surgery, Flushing Hospital Medical Center, New York, USA
  • Neil Mandava Department of General Surgery, Flushing Hospital Medical Center, New York, USA



Foreign body extraction, Rectal foreign bodies, Retained rectal foreign bodies


Retained rectal foreign bodies (FB) are rare and present diagnostic dilemmas due to the varying clinical presentations and embarrassment experienced by patients, preventing patients from being forthcoming about the cause of their symptoms. Furthermore, the variability in size, shape, and depth of insertions calls for physicians and surgeons to be resourceful and creative with their management. We present 8 cases of rectal foreign bodies between October 2012 and April 2023. We excluded patients that had foreign bodies from oral ingestion. Of the patients, 62.5% came during the night shift; 75% of patients were forthcoming about inserting their foreign bodies.12.5% of cases successfully passed the FB in the emergency department (ED), 50% underwent rectal examination under anesthesia (EUA), two were successfully removed, 25% underwent exploratory laparotomy, and 12.5% refused intervention. The median time from incident to presentation to the ED was 2.5 days; the median hospital length of stay (LOS) was one day. Further investigation regarding seasonality, time/day of presentation, and time from insertion to presentation could benefit in increasing healthcare awareness of FB. Our results showed that most patients presented during the night hours, which increased clinical suspicion for patients presenting with complaints consistent with retained foreign bodies since faster diagnosis and interventions are associated with reduced complications and improved patient outcomes.


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