An Unusual Case Of Constipation

One day when I was on call, a patient Mr T was admitted under my care.
In his fifties, he complained of abdominal discomfort and inability to open his bowels.

Sounds like bowel obstruction , I thought…..

“It’s rambutans.” he said, helpfully.


He then explained he’d been competing with a friend to see who could eat more rambutans.

“Yes, but I don’t see how it could cause your constipation and discomfort…..” I replied, puzzled.
“Ah, but I swallowed them whole – with the seeds!”

Ah! Now it started to make sense.
Only half believing the story, I ordered a plain X-Ray of his abdomen.
And there it was!
A whole cluster of rambutan seeds all clustered together in the lower abdomen!

I told him we’d try some laxatives first.
But if that didn’t work and he progressed to full bowel obstruction, we might have to do an operation.

That must have scared him.
In any case, it did the trick and he triumphantly reported to me the next day that he’d opened his bowels and was ready for home.

Moral of the story?
Never engage in a Rambutan Eating Competition!