Lower Genitourinary Foreign Bodies: An Institutional Experience and Description of a Novel, Minimally-invasive Extraction Technique for Anterior Urethral Objects.


Division of Urology, Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center, West Hospital, Richmond, VA. Electronic address: [Email]


OBJECTIVE : To describe our experience with management of lower genitourinary foreign bodies (FBs); to introduce our novel, but simple and minimally-invasive retrieval method compared with standard techniques for anterior urethral FBs; and to propose a derived, practical management algorithm.
METHODS : We reviewed all male patients presenting with inserted urethral and/or bladder FBs between January2000 and October 2018. Patient characteristics and number of episodes were identified. Episodes were stratified by FB type, FB location, diagnostic modality, and removal method. We performed a subgroup analysis of anterior urethral FB management techniques comparing retrieval outcomes using our novel Retrieval of Anterior urethral Materials Safely (RAMS) technique which utilizes urethral hydrodistension via retrograde injection of lidocaine jelly to expel FBs vs forceps extraction. Cost analyses were performed, and a management algorithm was then derived.
RESULTS : We identified 116 episodes. Eighty-seven of 116 (75%) episodes involved items located within the anterior urethra. A subset of episodes (14/116, 12%) was managed using the RAMS technique. There was no difference in FB extraction success rates between RAMS (13/14, 92.9%) and forceps extraction (37/40, 92.7%), P = 1.00. FBs were successfully removed using RAMS when utilized for nonembedded FBs located entirely within the anterior urethra. Among FBs located within the anterior urethra, the median total hospital cost was nearly 10 times less with utilization of RAMS compared with cystoscopic extraction ($379.09 v s$3,214.21, P <.05).
CONCLUSIONS : Because an overwhelming majority of FBs are located within the anterior urethra, the RAMS technique represents a simple, cost-conscious, and minimally-invasive strategy with low risk and potentially high-yield for initial extraction in the emergency department.

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