Certain factors may be associated with an increased risk of bezoar formation. A patient with one or more risk factors and vague abdominal symptoms are candidates for further evaluation.


Gastric outlet obstruction and/or abnormal intestinal motility:

(1) postoperative ileus

(2) myotonic dystrophy

(3) diabetic gastroparesis

(4) postgastrectomy complication

(5) intestinal pseudo-obstruction


Neuropsychiatric risk factors:

(1) mental retardation

(2) psychiatric disturbances

(3) premature birth



• I am not quite sure how postoperative ileus would result in a bezoar. It could occur if the person received a large amount of oral medication or concentrated milk products and the ileus lasted several days.

• Premature birth may be associated with cerebral palsy and with intestinal lesions.


A person with a gastric motility disorder may form a bezoar if exposed to:

(1) concentrated milk formula (lactobezoars)

(2) poorly soluble medications (pharmacobezoar)

(3) vegetable fiber and seeds (phytobezoar)

(4) candy


A person with mental retardation or a psychiatric disorder would be at risk if the following are noticed:

(1) pica

(2) trichotillomania or hair chewing (trichobezoar)

(3) swallowing foreign objects


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