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Int Surg. 2008 Mar-Apr;93(2):95-8.

Management of gastrointestinal bezoars: an analysis of 23 cases.

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Department of Surgery, General Hospital of Corfu, Corfu, Greece.


Bezoars (BZs) represent the most common foreign bodies of the gastrointestinal tract. Clinical symptoms varying from no symptoms to acute abdominal obstruction. Our goal is to present our experience with a review of the literature. In this study, 23 patients with BZs of the upper gastrointestinal system (GIS) were treated in the surgical department of two generals hospitals in northwest Greece. The size of BZs, localization, predisposing factors, clinical symptoms, morbidity, and mortality were analyzed. Conservative treatment, endoscopic procedures, and surgical treatment were also parameters under consideration. Nineteen patients presenting with phytobezoars and four female patients presented with psychological disorders and mental retardation with trichobezoars. More than one half of them (57%) had previous gastric surgery. Surgical morbidity rate was 28%, whereas the endoscopic morbidity was 11%. Mortality was 4% and 0% for the surgical and endoscopic groups, respectively. The differences in morbidity and mortality rates between the two groups were not statistically significant. BZs are commonly found in the stomach and small intestine, especially in patients who underwent previous gastric surgery. Small bowel obstruction is the most common complication. When uncomplicated, endoscopic or surgical removal of the BZs can be performed easy and effectively.

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