Surgical aspects of gastrointestinal persimmon phytobezoar treatment

M M Krausz, E Z Moriel, A Ayalon, D Pode, A L Durst
American Journal of Surgery 1986, 152 (5): 526-30
One hundred thirteen patients presented with gastrointestinal complications due to persimmon phytobezoars during a 3 year period. One hundred three patients had a history of persimmon ingestion. One hundred five patients had undergone previous gastric operation for duodenal ulcer, one patient underwent highly selective vagotomy, and seven patients had not undergone previous operation. An elevated temperature, leukocytosis, and decreased bowel sounds were typical early clinical manifestations of small bowel obstruction by persimmon phytobezoars. In 13 patients, gastric bezoars were found, in 20 patients, gastric and intestinal bezoars, and in 80 patients, intestinal bezoars. One hundred patients were treated surgically. In 14 of the 20 patients with concomitant gastric and intestinal phytobezoars, extraction of the bezoars was achieved by gastrotomy. Of the remaining six patients, it was achieved by intraoperative milking of the gastric bezoar into the small bowel in two patients and by conservative treatment in four patients. Of the 100 patients who presented with small bowel obstruction, 60 were treated by milking of the bezoar into the large bowel, 34 by enterotomy, and 6 by conservative therapy with intravenous fluids, gastric suction, and a water-soluble contrast meal. Small bowel resection of a gangrenous segment was necessary in two patients. Two patients died after operation because of sepsis and respiratory complications. Eleven of the 13 patients in whom postoperative wound infection developed underwent gastrotomy or enterotomy. We conclude that the treatment of choice of intestinal obstruction due to persimmon phytobezoars is milking of the bezoar into the large bowel without enterotomy. Preoperative or operative endoscopy should be performed in patients presenting with complications of gastrointestinal phytobezoars. Patients who have undergone gastric operation should be warned against the risk of persimmon ingestion.

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