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Asian J Surg. 2004 Oct;27(4):348-51.

Intestinal obstruction due to phytobezoars of banana seeds: a case report.

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  • 1Surgery Clinic, Klinikum Bamberg, Bamberg, Germany.


Phytobezoars are a well-known, though rare, cause of mechanical alimentary tract obstruction. They occur mainly in patients who have undergone abdominal surgery, where most literature reports describe the causes as persimmons and oranges. We report four cases, seen within a period of 19 months in Laos, with intestinal obstruction caused by phytobezoars from jungle banana seeds. They had no history of previous gastrointestinal surgery. The recommended therapy in total obstruction is laparotomy, "milking" through the ileocaecal junction, or enterotomy and direct extraction. As recurrence and presentation at multiple sites are possible, all of the gastrointestinal tract should be thoroughly examined intraoperatively.

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