Gastrointestinal bezoars are a concretion of indigested material that can be found in the gastrointestinal tract of humans and some animals. This material forms an intraluminal mass, more commonly located in the stomach. During a large period of history animal bezoars were considered antidotes to poisons and diseases. We report a historical overview since bezoars stones were thought to have medicinal properties. This magic conception was introduced in South America by Spanish conquerors. In Chile, bezoars are commonly found in a camelid named guanaco (Lama guanicoe). People at Central Chile and the Patagonia believed that bezoar stones had magical properties and they were traded at very high prices. In Santiago, during the eighteenth century the Jesuit apothecary sold preparations of bezoar stones. The human bezoars may be formed by non-digestible material like cellulose (phytobezoar), hair (trichobezoar), conglomerations of medications or his vehicles (pharmacobezoar or medication bezoar), milk and mucus component (lactobezoar) or other varieties of substances. This condition may be asymptomatic or can produce abdominal pain, ulceration, gastrointestinal bleeding, gastric outlet obstruction, perforation and mechanical intestinal obstruction. We report their classification, diagnostic modalities and treatment.
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- Gastric outlet obstruction
- History of medicine
- Intestinal obstruction