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Archives a Century Ago
February 2002


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Arch Dermatol. 2002;138(2):166. doi:10.1001/archderm.138.2.166



NO. 2.



Removal of Two Hundred and Eighty Grains of White Wax from the Male Urinary Bladder.—DR. ORVILLE HORWITZ. (Proceedings of the Phil. County Med. Soc., 1900).

G. L., twenty-five years of age, was admitted to the wards of the Jefferson Hospital during last September. He complained of a frequent desire to urinate, followed by hemorrhage at the termination of the act. Pain, referred to the neck of the bladder and to the meatus of the penis, was experienced at the end of micturition. He stated that, twenty-four hours previous to his admission he indulged in sexual intercourse and, in order to prevent his mistress from becoming impregnated, he inserted into the urethra a roll of white wax, eight inches long and about twenty-six millimeters in circumference. This was passed into the urethra until its end was just within the meatus. Almost immediately after intercourse had begun, he felt the wax bougie slip into the bladder, the sensation was associated with a good deal of pain. On completing the act he discovered blood oozing from the meatus and felt a burning, stinging pain in the vicinity of the neck of the bladder. The introduction of a stone searcher readily detected the foreign body. Suprapubic cystotomy was performed, and, on opening the bladder, it was found that the wax had become rolled up in the shape of a large ball. On attempting to deliver it by means of the lithotritic forceps, the blades of the instrument became buried in the soft mass and when traction was made the wax was pulled out in a long thin strip, which could be stretched several inches beyond the abdominal incision. In order to remove the mass, it became necessary to insert into the bladder the index fingers of both the right and left hand, to grasp the mass and mold it into the shape of a sausage. By this means it was brought to the outer edge of the abdominal incision, where it was grasped by hemostatic forceps and held until it was caught at a point below by means of a second pair of forceps, thus gradually, hand-over-hand, it was finally removed. It was deemed fortunate that the suprapubic route was chosen in preference to the perineal, for, had the latter operation been selected, it would have been impossible to have removed the wax, and the bladder would probably have been a good deal damaged by the attempt. The wax had to be grasped with the forceps while in sight, the touch being deceptive, the soft wax feeling exactly like the wall of the bladder. Many strange foreign bodies have been removed from the bladder, but, so far as I know, the history of this case is unique.

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