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Giant granadilla’s seeds phytobezoar rectal impactation: a very unusual case of intestinal obstruction


A 78-year-old Caucasian man presented to the emergency department with bloody diarrhoea, diffuse abdominal pain and fever with 1-week duration. He had just returned from Angola where he had been treated for a presumed Clostridium difficile infection without improvement. He had no relevant medical or familiar history except for hypertension and prostate benign hyperplasia. He was drowsy, feverish and eupnoeic. His oxygen saturation on pulse oximetry was 92%, blood pressure was 173/99 mm Hg and pulse rate 100 beats per minute. Except for a distended, silent and painful abdomen, particularly on lower quadrants, the rest of the examination was unremarkable. A CT showed a mesh-like mass inside the rectum conditioning colonic obstruction and distention. This turned to be a giant granadilla’s seeds phytobezoar and was removed endoscopically. Five days later, the patient had a colonic perforation requiring total colectomy. He made a full recovery after rehabilitation for 3 months.

  • travel medicine
  • migration and health
  • gastrointestinal surgery
  • endoscopy
  • physiotherapy (rehabilitation)

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