An unusual case of small bowel obstruction in a child caused by ingestion of water-storing gel beads

J Pediatr Surg. 2012 Sep;47(9):E19-22. doi: 10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2012.04.005.


Foreign body ingestion occurs most commonly in the pediatric population. Small bowel obstruction is a rare complication that can occur, and surgical intervention is required. We present the first report of a case of an 18-month-old child with a jejunal obstruction caused by ingestion of water-storing gel beads used for botanical arrangements. The child presented with obstipation and nonbloody, nonbilious emesis. Symptoms resolved after a large bead 3 cm in diameter was retrieved via laparoscopic-assisted excision. This case suggests that water-storing gel beads are particularly dangerous foreign bodies and should be kept out of the reach of children.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Acrylic Resins*
  • Female
  • Foreign Bodies / complications
  • Foreign Bodies / diagnosis*
  • Household Articles*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Intestinal Obstruction / diagnosis
  • Intestinal Obstruction / etiology*
  • Jejunal Diseases / diagnosis
  • Jejunal Diseases / etiology*
  • Jejunum*


  • Acrylic Resins
  • polyacrylamide gels