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June 1969

Small Bowel Obstruction Secondary to Repane Ingestion

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, Cambridge Hospital, Cambridge, Mass, and Harvard Medical School, Boston. Dr. Vernon is now at St. George's Hospital, London.

Arch Surg. 1969;98(6):717-719. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1969.01340120065009

Obstruction of the small bowel by ingested food remains an unusual event, but can no longer be considered a rarity. Davies and Lewis1 found it to comprise 4% of the small-bowel obstructions, excluding those due to herniae, in two Welsh hospitals. In this country, it appears, both from collected series and from a review of the literature, to be even less frequent: Storck et al2 reporting 875 cases of small-bowel obstruction, excluding those due to hernia, neoplasm, and peritonitis, found only five due to food; Wangensteen3 reviewing 1,252 cases of small-bowel obstruction found none due to food.

The case reported below is thought to represent not only a new and interesting type of food-causing obstruction, but also to illustrate the fact that different ethnic groups within this country may have quite diverse diets. For physicians dealing with large segments of given groups, these dietary idiosyncracies may be of some

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