Editor's note: This article was originally published in the January/February 2003 issue of Clinician News. It placed first in the journal's Most Unusual Patient Contest.
Late one morning, a woman and her 13-year-old daughter came into our office. “Mrs. Smith” reported that “Lisa” had a retained tampon. Lisa looked scared as her mother did all of the talking.
One of the male doctors saw Lisa first. After about 10 minutes, he emerged from the examination room looking perplexed. He said he wasn’t sure what was going on. He asked me to go in and try to get Lisa to allow a more thorough pelvic examination.
My exam of Lisa proved only slightly easier. I was able to visualize something curved and firm that sounded like plastic when touched with the ring forceps. I could pull the object as far as the vaginal introitus, but it would always slide back. “This is no tampon,” I repeated several times. Each time I pulled down, Lisa became more agitated. After several tries, I gave Lisa a rest and left the room to consult with a doctor.
The doctor suggested a trip to same-day surgery for evaluation under anesthesia but decided to give it one more try before heading for the operating room.
Continue to: Together, we entered the exam room...