[Partial intestinal obstruction after swallowing a self-expanding sponge for weight reduction]

Dtsch Med Wochenschr. 2003 Aug 15;128(33):1706-8. doi: 10.1055/s-2003-41337.
[Article in German]


History and admission findings: A 21-year-old woman presented with predominantly right-sided cramp-like abdominal pain which had started the previous day. The abdomen was soft on palpation, the peristaltic sounds increased. Body temperature was normal.

Investigations: Routine laboratory tests were unremarkable, including white cell count (4.5 G/l). and C-reactive protein.

Treatment and course: She was admitted to hospital for observation. Because the symptoms persisted she underwent a right lower laparotomy because acute appendicitis was suspected. Intraperitoneal examination of the intestines revealed a soft, sponge-like foreign body just above the ileocecal valve. The overlying ileum was incised and a sponge removed. Postoperatively the patient reported having taken 4 capsules of CM3, a weight-reducing preparation, about 14 days ago. These capsules dissolve in the stomach and each releases a small sponge which expands and mechanically induces a feeling of satiation. The further course was unremarkable and she was discharged on the 8th postoperative day.

Conclusion: When producing weight-reducing preparations that act according to physico-mechanical principles, anatomical circumstances should be considered, and they should only be taken under medical supervision.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Pain / etiology
  • Acute Disease
  • Adult
  • Anti-Obesity Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Obesity Agents / adverse effects*
  • Appendicitis / diagnosis
  • Deglutition
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Foreign Bodies / diagnosis
  • Foreign Bodies / etiology*
  • Foreign Bodies / surgery
  • Foreign-Body Migration*
  • Humans
  • Ileal Diseases / diagnosis
  • Ileal Diseases / etiology*
  • Ileal Diseases / surgery
  • Ileocecal Valve*
  • Intestinal Obstruction / diagnosis
  • Intestinal Obstruction / etiology*
  • Intestinal Obstruction / surgery
  • Weight Loss*


  • Anti-Obesity Agents