We had a surgical patient who complained to the doctor about her constipation following gallbladder surgery. He told her he would order a laxative and the nurse would bring it in shortly. The patient also asked to see the gallstones that had been removed in surgery. After the doctor left, the patient fell asleep. When she awoke, she found three round green objects in a cup. She assumed they were her laxative and swallowed them down. Later the nurse came in with some dulcolax tablets for the constipation and the patient realized she had swallowed her gallstones. She was afraid to tell anyone for two days, until the doctor asked her if she had gotten to see her stones. With a very red face she said--"I'm afraid you're going to have to take me back to surgery--I swallowed them!" She was very happy to discover that they would probably pass without incident.