Gallstone ileus: A condition that persists over time

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Alesio E. López
Elías E. Ortega
Eugenia de Elías
Flavia G. López


Background: Gallstone ileus is defined as a mechanical obstruction due to impaction of one or more gallstones within the gastrointestinal tract. The pathogenesis is due to the presence of a cholecystoduodenal fistula.
Material and methods: We conducted a descriptive and retrospective study of five cases of gallbladder ileus between December 2017 and January 2020. Sex, age, clinical presentation, usefulness of computed tomography scan, surgical approach and treatment, surgeon, site of obstruction, gallstone size and mortality were analyzed.
Results: A total of five patients were included; mean age was 66 years. Four patients presented bowel obstruction and one patient had bowel perforation. All the patients underwent computed tomography scan and laparotomy. Enterolithotomy was performed in four patients and one patient underwent bowel resection. One patient died.
Conclusion: Gallstone ileus is a rare condition more likely to affect women. Computed tomography scan is the gold standard method for the diagnosis. The surgical approach and strategy will depend on patient-related factors and on the experience of the surgical team.


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López, A. E., Ortega, E. E., de Elías, E., & López, F. G. (2021). Gallstone ileus: A condition that persists over time. Revista Argentina De Cirugía, 113(1), 56–61.
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