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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Teenage Curiosity: Magnetic Attraction Gone Wrong

  • Author(s): Hysell, Matthew
  • Harris-Kober, Sarah E.
  • et al.

A 13-year-old male presented with suprapubic pain, hesitancy, and dysuria beginning seven hours prior to arrival. After initial evasiveness, the patient admitted to inserting small, magnetic ball bearings into his penis. Vital signs and physical exam were unremarkable aside from mild suprapubic tenderness to palpation. Pelvic radiograph demonstrated about 45 radiopaque beads within the urethra and bladder. While urethral foreign body (FB) is an uncommon diagnosis, it is essential to identify quickly as lifelong complications can arise. Magnetic FBs are particularly concerning due to possible ischemia from compression injury and difficulty of removal. Safety concerns led to temporary market removal of neodymium magnetic toys, but sales resumed in 2016.

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