Exploring the uncommon: A case report on localized peritonitis caused by ingested toothpick

Narmeen Asif, Salva Shariq, Abdul Rehman Alvi

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Introduction: Bowel perforation is a serious emergency. Occasionally, sharp objects like toothpicks can get stuck in narrow parts of the small intestine, potentially resulting in impaction, obstruction, or perforation. Presentation of case: A 20-year-old male arrived at our hospital's emergency department with sudden, severe abdominal pain persisting for 24 h. On examination, his abdomen showed tenderness, and bowel sounds were reduced. Contrast-enhanced computed tomography (CECT) indicated possible small intestine inflammation due to a foreign object and a diagnostic laparoscopy revealed a hyperemic terminal ileum. Discussion: This case involves ileal perforation from an unnoticed toothpick ingestion. Detecting foreign object perforations is challenging, often leading to misdiagnoses and CT scans are the most effective for toothpick detection. Definitive diagnosis is through laparoscopy, and treatment varies between laparoscopic suturing to intestinal resection. Conclusion: Healthcare providers must consider toothpick ingestion in cases of acute abdominal symptoms to avert treatment delays and potential life-threatening outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109100
JournalInternational Journal of Surgery Case Reports
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024


  • Foreign bodies
  • Ingested toothpick
  • Peritonitis
  • Resection and anastomosis


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