East and Central African Journal of Surgery

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Gallstone ileus: A rare and often disregarded cause of intestinal obstruction: Case report with literature review

Y Mohammed


Gallstone ileus is very rare complication of cholelithiasis. As it is usually a disease of the elderly, the morbidity and mortality associated with it is high due to the presence of co-morbidities. This is additionally made worse by the delay encountered before reaching diagnosis which often demands a high index of suspicion. In Ethiopia, a country where intestinal obstruction is seen to be one of the common presentations in the emergency surgical department, gall stone has never been seen to be reported as a cause. Thus we present this rare case and discuss the mode of presentation, diagnostic difficulties and differing treatment options. We report the case of an 80-year old lady who presented with signs and symptoms of small intestinal obstruction. Upon exploration we were astonished to find the cause of the obstruction to be a gallstone which was removed by simple ileostomy. Postoperative course was uneventful.

Keywords: gallstone ileus, intestinal obstruction, gallstone
AJOL African Journals Online