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September 1963

Acute Intestinal Obstruction Caused by Food: A Case Report

Author Affiliations


Arch Surg. 1963;87(3):422-423. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1963.01310150058013

Although acute intestinal obstruction is a relatively common surgical disease, it is not widely recognized that the ingestion of foodstuffs can produce the disease. The extensive review of Ward-McQuaid in 1950 called more attention to the clinical entity, and since then other authors have added their experiences.6

It has become apparent that while most foodstuff obstructions occur in grossly normal gastrointestinal tracts, a disproportionate number occur in patients who have previously had partial gastrectomies.1-5 Evidently the food bolus, passing rapidly into the intestine through the surgically altered stomach, arrives at the ileum poorly digested with its fibrous components intact and, becoming impacted there, causes the obstruction.

It is reasonable to assume that even in the absence of rapid intestinal transit such an obstruction might occur if poorly digested food becomes lodged in an area of preexisting intestinal stenosis. The following case illustrates this phenomenon.

Report of a Case