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Indian woman has 2lb hairball removed from her stomach

  • WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT 
  • Nauseating photos show the 2LB hairball removed from woman’s stomach
  • The woman, 20, has Rapunzel syndrome, which causes her to eat her own hair  
  • The patient weighed just 30kg before undergoing surgery to remove the hair 

This is the nauseating moment doctors removed an enormous hairball – from a woman’s stomach.

The 20-year-old victim suffers with a rare case of Rapunzel syndrome – a condition resulting from ingesting one’s hair – and surgeons removed the nearly 2lb ball.

The patient weighed just 66lb before undergoing surgery – the first operation to remove a hairball at V C Gandhi & M A Vora Municipal General Hospital at Rajawadi, Mumba – due to persistent vomiting and recurring stomach pain.

Surgeon Dr Bharat Kamath said: ‘On examination, a hard lump was felt in the upper abdomen of the patient.

The enormous mass of hair that weighed nearly 2lb was extracted from the woman’s stomache at  Municipal General Hospital at Rajawadi, Mumba, India

Hairballs are accumulations of human or vegetable fibers that accumulate in the gastrointestinal tract

Hairballs are accumulations of human or vegetable fibers that accumulate in the gastrointestinal tract

A hairball - called a bezoar - extends from the stomach, with it's 'tail' in the small intestine

A hairball – called a bezoar – extends from the stomach, with it’s ‘tail’ in the small intestine

The 20-year-old victim suffers with a rare case of Rapunzel syndrome - a condition resulting from ingesting one's hair - and surgeons removed the 1.7lb ball

The 20-year-old victim suffers with a rare case of Rapunzel syndrome – a condition resulting from ingesting one’s hair – and surgeons removed the 1.7lb ball

Surgeon Dr Bharat Kamath said: 'On examination, a hard lump was felt in the upper abdomen of the patient'

Surgeon Dr Bharat Kamath said: ‘On examination, a hard lump was felt in the upper abdomen of the patient’

WHAT IS RAPUNZEL SYNDROME? 

Rapunzel syndrome is a rare condition where hairballs are found in the digestive tract. Pictured is the mass removed from a 16-year-old girl called Komal's stomach after she had been chewing on her hair for five years

Rapunzel syndrome is a rare condition where hairballs are found in the digestive tract. Pictured is the mass removed from a 16-year-old girl called Komal’s stomach after she had been chewing on her hair for five years

Rapunzel syndrome is a rare condition where hairballs are found in the digestive tract after a person ingests their own hair.

It is predominantly found in young people who have learning disabilities or are emotionally disturbed.

A hairball – called a bezoar – extends from the stomach, with it’s ‘tail’ in the small intestine. 

Hairballs are accumulations of human or vegetable fibers that accumulate in the gastrointestinal tract. 

They increase in size because hair and fibre is not absorbed.

They cause abdominal pain and nausea.

Sometimes people can present at healthcare facilities with a mass, but no symptoms, but it can progress to tearing and obstructing the stomach and bowel.

Most hairballs in children are from swallowed hair from the head, dolls, or brushes. 

Source: Clinical Medicine and Research journal 

‘A CT scan showed a huge mass of hair, taking the shape of the stomach, extending through the duodenum into the upper small intestines.

‘A psychiatric evaluation of the patent was done for trichotillomania – a disorder characterized by a long-term urge that results in the pulling out of one’s hair.’

The oval hairball was 10in long and around 4.7in wide. Dr Bharat said that following the surgery on August 31, the patient is now recovering.

He added: ‘This is the first time such a case has been handled in our hospital, though there have been isolated cases elsewhere.

Surgeons with the giant hairball removed from a patient at V C Gandhi & M A Vora Municipal General Hospital at Rajawadi, Mumbai, India

Surgeons with the giant hairball removed from a patient at V C Gandhi & M A Vora Municipal General Hospital at Rajawadi, Mumbai, India

The oval hairball was 25cm long and around 12cm wide. Dr Bharat said that following the surgery on August 31, the patient is now recovering

Dr Bharat Kamath added: 'This is the first time such a case has been handled in our hospital, though there have been isolated cases elsewhere

The oval hairball was 25cm long and around 12cm wide. Dr Bharat said that following the surgery on August 31, the patient is now recovering

‘Small hairballs are very common; they do not require surgery and can be removed by an endoscopic procedure.

‘However, when it becomes a huge cast of mass taking the shape of the stomach, there remains little space for any equipment to go inside.

‘Such patients can’t hold their food and vomit it all out which leads to anorexia; they are restless all the time, they don’t eat and that’s how their hemoglobin count drops.’ 

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