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Review of Intentionally Self-Inflicted, Accidental and Iatrogetic Foreign Objects in the Genitourinary Tract

Rieder J. · Brusky J. · Tran V. · Stern K. · Aboseif S.
Department of Urology, Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center, Los Angeles, Calif., USA Urol Int 2010;84:471–475 (DOI:10.1159/000296284)


Purpose: Retrospective evaluation of a series of patients presenting with genitourinary foreign objects. Patients and Methods: From 1997 to 2007, 11 men and 2 women were treated for a variety of foreign objects in the genitourinary tract. Medical records were reviewed for presentation, diagnosis, mental status, drug dependency, treatment, and follow-up. Results: 13 patients were seen for removal of the foreign objects or for treatment of the sequela. These objects were intentionally self-inflicted, accidentally introduced or iatrogenic in nature. Intentional objects included: safety pins, screwdriver, marbles, pen cap, pencils, straw, cocaine, stiff metal wire and part of a pizza mixer. Accidental objects included: magnets, female catheter, urinary incontinence devices and part of a Foley catheter. The iatrogenic object was a reservoir from an inflatable penile implant. Smaller noninjurious objects were retrieved cystoscopically or at the bedside; larger objects or objects associated with trauma to the urethra needed open and reconstructive operations. Conclusions: Generally thought to be self-inflicted for personal gratification, the source of genitourinary objects can also be accidental or iatrogenic. The most traumatic injuries are purposely self-inflicted and found in patients who remove the objects themselves. These patients are at higher risk of permanent urethral damage needing complex surgical treatment and follow-up.


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