Phytobezoar-induced small bowel obstruction associated with a concomitant gastric phytobezoar and ulcer in an elderly woman.


COD: 01_2015_1034_2265 Categorie: ,

Alessandro De Cesare, Enrico Fiori, Marco Bononi, Daniele Ferraro.

Ann. Ital. Chir., 2015 86: 70-77

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Bezoars are aggregates of indigested foreign material that accumulate in the gastroenteric tract, expecially in the stomach and in the narrowest points of the small bowel. They often occur in subjects who follow a diet rich in fruit and vegetables and in those one who previously underwent gastric resective surgery for peptic ulcer. Bezoar formation has even been observed in case of reduced gastric motility and secretion due to diabetes, hypothyroidism, pernicious anemia, myotonic syndromes, and Guillain-Barré syndrome. As they are an uncommon cause of small bowel obstruction, phytobezoars are often not considered in the differential diagnosis of occlusive intestinal syndromes and so frequently come as an intraoperative finding. A consequence of this missed diagnosis in the preoperative period is an unnecessary diagnostic delay that can significantly increase morbidity and mortality. This case report illustrates the need to include phytobezoars in the preoperative diagnostic workout of intestinal obstruction in order to rule out the presence of multiple bezoars and prevent recurrent obstruction. Now that phytobezoars are becoming a less infrequent cause of small bowel obstruction than previously thought, such a diagnostic possibility should always be considered.