Surprising way Aussie doctors removed a golf ball from teen's anus

The Adelaide 14-year-old told his mum he could not get the ball out and she rushed him to hospital.

It's never a boring day in the hospital emergency department and this unusual case involving an Australian teenage boy is no exception.

The 14-year old boy presented at Royal Adelaide Hospital after inserting a golf ball into his anus, a medical journal reports.

Once realising he wasn't able to get it out, the teen panicked and told his mother, who immediately rushed him to the emergency department.

Two X-rays of a golf ball lodged in a 17-year-old boy's intestine.
An Adelaide 14-year-old boy presented to hospital with a golf ball lodged in his anus, which moved into his intestine. Source: Hindawi

Luckily he was not in any pain and the ball wasn't obstructing his bowel, however X-ray scans showed the golf ball had lodged itself into his sigmoid colon, the last part of the large intestine, which was proved to be a bit of a challenge for doctors.

After an intense two-hour plus procedure of trying to physically extract the ball while the boy was under general anaesthetic, including using a suction cup, medical net, quad-prong grasper and a balloon catheter, another approach was tried.

"Taking into consideration the family’s reluctance to undergo more aggressive intervention (e.g., laparotomy) and with the absence of colonic obstruction, we decided to trial volume laxatives to facilitate passage of the golf ball," doctors explained in the medical report.

He was given one litre of laxatives and successfully pushed out the ball three hours later.

Upon reflection, medics said in the report laxatives should be considered first for future patients who come in with foreign bodies in their anus if they don't have any bowel obstruction.

"Following passage of the golf ball, the patient remained clinically well and was discharged the same day. There was no evidence of bowel injury," it read.

"(He) denied experiencing abdominal pain, bloating, or vomiting after consuming the glycoprep (laxative)."

The 17-year-old was also advised "against inserting further objects into his rectum in the future" — a surprisingly common situation in the emergency department.

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