Terminal ileostomy and on-table enteroscopy—A case report describing a novel approach for retrieval of foreign bodies in the difficult abdomen

Shadi Al-Bahri, Esther Cha, Gregory Burgoyne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction With any abdominal surgery in a difficult abdomen, the procedure is filled with potential hazards. In addition to a prolonged operative time, there is a risk of enterotomy or damage to blood vessels and ureters. An irradiated pelvis increases this risk and may cause additional morbidity such as delayed healing. An impacted foreign body can also be a challenging problem to deal with alone but when combined with a difficult abdomen can make the problem impossible. Presentation of case A 67 year-old male presented with a small bowel obstruction secondary to a foreign body impacted in the distal. The patient had a history of prostate cancer with radiation to the pelvis and thereafter developed perforated diverticulitis, requiring end colostomy. Later he underwent a colostomy take-down but developed wound infection and dehiscence resulting in an incisional hernia which was repaired. The patient failed conservative management and operative intervention was undertaken. Due to the extensive scarring of his midline abdomen, a right sided transverse incision was used. An enterotomy was made in the terminal ileum allowing the endoscope to advance to the foreign body to be retrieved with a snare. The foreign body was found to be a 3.5 cm piece of bone. Post-operative course was unremarkable. Discussion Foreign body ingestion is a rare cause of small bowel obstruction, and exploration and retrieval is recommended if the obstruction does not resolve or if the bowels perforate. The method of retrieval depends on the site of the foreign body. Fortunately, in the small bowel, the terminal ileum is the narrowest part and most likely the site of impaction. Operative retrieval is easier if there are no prior abdominal interventions. An irradiated pelvis or abdomen, multiple prior procedures and a frozen abdomen warrant an alternative approach. As it can be difficult or impossible to access the ileum using a colonoscope transanally, a limited right-sided transverse incision can be employed allowing immediate access to the cecum and terminal ileum through which endoscopic retrieval could be performed. A review of the literature to date did not yield any other descriptions of this approach for foreign body retrieval, however, an appendostomy and endoscopy to rule out malignancy in patients with right sided diverticulitis has been documented. Conclusion Consideration should be given to foreign body retrieval through an appendostomy or ileostomy if a midline laparotomy is considered too high risk in the setting of pelvic irradiation and multiple prior abdominal surgeries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)140-142
Number of pages3
JournalInternational Journal of Surgery Case Reports
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Appendostomy
  • Enteroscopy
  • Enterotomy
  • Foreign body

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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