Images in Surgery| Volume 135, ISSUE 1, P110-111, January 2004

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Traumatic rectal perforation by an eel

      A 50-year-old man was seen at the Accident and Emergency Department because of abdominal pain. Physical examination revealed peritonitis. A shadow of an eel was noticed on the abdominal radiograph (Fig 1). On further questioning, the patient admitted an eel was inserted into the rectum in an attempt to relieve constipation. Emergency laparotomy found a 50 cm-long eel biting the splenic flexure of the colon (Fig 2), and a 3-cm perforation was found over the anterior wall of the rectum (Fig 3, Fig 4). The rectum was divided at the site of perforation, and the proximal end was brought out as colostomy. The postoperative course was uneventful. The patient was discharged home on day 7.
      Figure thumbnail gr1
      Fig 1Abdominal radiograph shows eel in abdominal cavity (arrows show eel in abdomen).
      Figure thumbnail gr2
      Fig 2Eel was biting splenic flexure.
      Figure thumbnail gr3
      Fig 3Rectal perforation made by eel.
      Figure thumbnail gr4
      Fig 4Eel was removed.
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