Introduction: Many foods have been implicated in bezoar obstruction especially sun dried apricots, peaches, and prunes. Dried fruits and vegetable being hygroscopic imbibe water, swell in size and cause mechanical small bowel obstruction. We hereby submit our experience of dealing with patients who presented with acute small bowel obstruction (ASBO) due to dried phytobezoars.
Materials and methods: This was a retrospective study which was conducted from March 2017 to March 2012. Operative records of the patients with ASBO due to phytobezoars were retrieved from Hospital Records Section. The clinical details, investigative work up, operative findings and intervention and type of bezoars were noted.
Results: Over the period of 5 years, 12 patients of phytobezoars were admitted in the department. The mean age of the patients was 1.85 years with 7(58.3%) males and 5 females (41.6.5%). Vomiting was most common and was present in all the patients, bilious in 11 (91.7%). The other features included abdominal pain in 10 (83.3%), abdominal distension in 8 (66.7%), failure to pass stools in 9 (75%), failure to pass flatus in 9 (75%), diarrhoea 16 (25%), bleeding per rectum 2 (16.6% patients). All the patients were operated in emergency settings within the period of 8 ± 3 hours of admission. There were no significant operative complications and average hospital stay was 5.2±1 days.
Conclusion: Dry fruits and vegetables like apricot, turnip and peach can lead to bezoar formation which subsequently leads to acute small bowel obstruction in these infants and young children. We also want to impress upon the treating physicians to keep in mind the probability of phytobezoars obstruction in patients presenting with mechanical ASBO especially in patients from Himalayan regions.