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Short circuit

Nathan Lawrentschuk and Paul A Kearns
Med J Aust 2004; 181 (11): 634.
Published online: 6 December 2004


A 19-year-old man was referred to the outpatient department with a 3-month history of recurrent urinary tract infection and an x-ray showing a calcified ring-like structure in his bladder (Figure A). He had no relevant medical history and denied knowledge of any foreign body having entered his urethra.

At cystoscopy, the ring-like structure (over 3 cm in diameter) appeared rather like a fried onion ring (Figure B). A lithoclast was used to fragment a dense layer of calcification, revealing a plastic sheath used to house electrical wire as the offending foreign body. Once the calcification had been removed, it was possible to extract the object with endoscopic forceps (Figure C). The patient was advised to avoid electricians.



  • Nathan Lawrentschuk1
  • Paul A Kearns2

  • Department of Surgery, University of Melbourne, Austin and Repatriation Medical Centre, Heidelberg, VIC.

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