BMJ Case Reports 2014; doi:10.1136/bcr-2013-201652

Large bowel obstruction due to gallstones: an endoscopic problem?

  1. Damien Durkin2
  1. 1Department of General Surgery, Queens Hospital—Burton, Burton-upon-Trent, UK
  2. 2UHNS, Stoke on Trent, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Faisal Shehzaad Khan, shehzaad_khan{at}


A 73-year-old man was admitted with symptoms of large bowel obstruction. An emergency CT scan revealed pneumobilia and large bowel obstruction at the level of the rectosigmoid due to a 4×4 cm impacted gallstone. Flexible sigmoidoscopy confirmed the diagnosis but initial attempts to drag the stone into the rectum failed. An endoscopic mechanical lithotripter was employed to repeatedly fracture the gallstone into smaller fragments, which were passed spontaneously the next day. The patient made a complete recovery avoiding the potential dangers of surgery. This case report discusses cholecystoenteric fistula and a novel minimally invasive treatment for large bowel obstruction due to gallstones.

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