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June 1970

Gallstone Ileus: A Continuing Surgical Problem

Author Affiliations

Winston-Salem, NC
From the Department of Surgery, Bowman Gray School of Medicine, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC.

Arch Surg. 1970;100(6):668-672. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1970.01340240036007

Gallstone ileus is a mechanical intestinal obstruction caused by impaction of one or more gallstones within the bowel lumen. It is a continuing surgical problem and occurs mainly in the elderly. Preoperative diagnosis depends upon x-ray film findings of distended loops of bowel, air in the biliary tract, and a stone in the intestine. The prime objective of gallstone ileus treatment is surgical relief of the obstruction. However, under optimum conditions, a one-stage repair of the associated biliary tract disease should be done. The syndrome is reviewed and four new cases illustrative of the various means of treatment are presented.