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Case Reports in Medicine
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 217570, 3 pages
Case Report

Gastric Trichobezoar Causing Intermittent Small Bowel Obstruction: Report of a Case and Review of the Literature

1University of California San Diego, School of Medicine, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, San Diego, CA 92093, USA
2Department of Radiology & Biomedical Imaging, University of California San Francisco, 505 Parnassus Avenue, M-391, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA
3Department of Surgery, University of California San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, San Diego, CA 92093, USA
4Division of Trauma, Surgical Critical Care and Burns, University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, 9500 Gilman Drive, San Diego, CA 92093, USA

Received 28 March 2011; Accepted 20 April 2011

Academic Editor: Yedidia Bentur

Copyright © 2011 Nicole G. Coufal et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We report the unusual case of a 45-year-old woman who presented with multiple episodes of small bowel obstruction. Initial exploratory lap-roscopy did not reveal an etiology of the obstruction. Subsequent upper endoscopy identified a non-obstructing gastric trichobezoar which could not be removed endoscopically but was not thought to be responsible for the small bowel obstruction given its location. One week postoperatively, the patient experienced recurrence of small bowel obstruction. Repeat endoscopy disclosed that the trichobezoar was no longer located in the stomach and upon repeat laparotomy was extracted from the mid-jejunum. In the following 8 months, the patient had no further episodes of small bowel obstruction. Consequently, gastric bezoars should be included in the differential diagnosis of recurrent small bowel obstruction.