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Open Access Open Badges Case report

Twice recurrent gallstone ileus: a case report

Rhys Jones1*, Daniel Broman1, Richard Hawkins2 and David Corless1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Surgery, Leighton Hospital, Middlewich Road, Crewe, Cheshire, CW1 4QJ, UK

2 Department of Radiology, Leighton Hospital, Middlewich Road, Crewe, Cheshire, CW1 4QJ, UK

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Journal of Medical Case Reports 2012, 6:362  doi:10.1186/1752-1947-6-362

Published: 24 October 2012



Gallstone ileus is a rare cause of bowel obstruction and results from the passage of gallstones into the bowel.

Case presentation

We present the case of an 83-year-old Caucasian woman who had three episodes of gallstone ileus, each of which was managed with simple enterotomy. This sequence is one of the first reported in the medical literature and may be seen to challenge the traditional surgical approach of enterotomy alone.


The available evidence comparing enterotomy alone with combined enterotomy, cholecystectomy, and fistula closure in the management of gallstone ileus is reviewed. Neither approach is clearly identified as superior, but available series suggest that simple enterotomy may be safer than a combined approach and does not result in a higher rate of recurrent biliary disease.

Recurrent gallstone ileus; enterotomy; fistulectomy