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Cir Cir. 2012 May-Jun;80(3):228-32.

[Biliary ileus: 10-year experience. Case series].

[Article in Spanish]

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Servicio de Gastrocirugía. Hospital de Especialidades, Centro Médico Nacional Siglo XXI. Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social. México, D.F., Mexico.



Biliary ileus is present in 0.06% of patients with gallstones as an outcome of a cholecystoenteric fistula, most frequently presenting as an intestinal obstruction. It is a clinic entity occasionally diagnosed, which translates into a significant margin of complications and mortality ranging from 12 to 27%. Our objective is to report the experience in the treatment of this pathology in a tertiary care hospital.


We carried out a retrospective study in patients with a diagnosis of biliary ileus during a 10-year period.


thirteen patients were included in the study, nine males (69%) and four females (31%) with a mean age of 57 years. All patients had intestinal occlusion symptoms. Preoperative diagnosis was achieved in three patients (23%). The most common surgery was intestinal resection with anastomosis (54%). One patient from the study group died (8%). Hospitalization length was a mean of 15 days and average follow-up was 11 months.


Bilary ileus is a pathology of patients of advanced age and must be suspected when symptoms of occlusion are present, regardless of gender. Early diagnosis can mean earlier intervention and potentially less traumatic surgery. Treatment is focused on urgent laparotomy and resolution of the intestinal occlusion, leaving management of the biliary fistula to only selected cases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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