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Bratisl Lek Listy. 2009;110(3):158-61.

Surgical treatment of phytobezoars causes acute small intestinal obstruction.

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Department of General Surgery, Turgut Ozal Medical Center, Inonu University, Faculty of Medicine, Malatya, Turkey.



Our aim was to perform a clinical analysis of small intestinal obstructions caused by surgically treated phytobezoars.


Twenty-four patients, with small intestinal obstructions caused by phytobezoars, underwent surgery in our department between 1998 to 2008, were reviewed retrospectively.


Twenty (83.3%) of 24 patients had previous gastric surgery. Preoperative computed tomography (CT) was performed in nine patients and seven (77.8%) patients, showed results consistent with a bezoar and subsequently, underwent surgery on the same day. The remaining patients had no preoperative diagnosis of a phytobezoar were typically followed-up for postoperative adhesion intestinal obstruction. Only those patients who showed no response to nonoperative treatment options underwent surgery. The phytobezoar was fragmented and milked into the cecum in 11 (45.8%) patients or extracted via longitudinal enterotomy in 12 (50%) patients; the remaining patient (4.2%) was treated via laparoscopy. Three patients had gastric phytobezoars, which were extracted via gastrotomy. There was no postoperative mortality. Two patients with previous enterotomy had either postoperative wound infection or wound infection and evisceration.


Phytobezoars should be considered in the differential diagnosis of acute small intestinal obstruction in patients with prior gastric surgery, poor dentition, or consume fiber-rich foods. Abdominal CT is useful for both diagnosis and for the decision to perform emergency surgery. When possible, the phytobezoar should be fragmented and milked into the cecum. Laparoscopic fragmentation may be useful in such cases (Tab. 3, Ref. 28). Full Text (Free, PDF)

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