Small bowel perforation due to ingested foreign body is a rare but potentially life-threatening event. We present here 4 cases of small intestinal perforation caused by accidental ingestion of foreign bodies, from a total of 1,100 surgical procedures in one unit over a one-year period (September 2016 -August 2017). All 4 cases occurred in elderly patients who were using an artificial denture. The clinical appearance was that of acute abdomen, and in one case there had been formation of an enterocutaneous fistula a long time after the foreign body was swallowed. Typically, preoperative abdominal computed tomography (CT) showed the possible presence of a foreign body, which was confirmed intraoperatively.
All 4 patients underwent surgery. Removal of the foreign body was performed, followed by primary intestinal closure or small bowel resection with a side-to-side anastomosis. Three of the 4 patients had an uneventful postoperative course, but one died on the 10th postoperative day, due to a severe postoperative pulmonary infection.
Old age and artificial denture use appear to be strong risk factors, and the time and location of the perforation, and the presence of co-morbidities are prognostic factors for a successful surgical outcome. The choice of the type of surgery is individualized. A high level of clinical suspicion and meticulous investigation of the entire small intestine are required to ensure the correct diagnosis and early intervention for a successful outcome.
Perforation foreign body peritonitis acute abdomen bowel resection elderly
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