Giant hair ball tears by way of teen’s abdomen, requiring surgical procedure

A teen within the U.Ok. who compulsively ate her personal hair ended up creating an enormous hairball in her abdomen that tore a gap by way of her abdomen wall, in accordance with a brand new report.

The oval-shaped hairball was 19 inches (48 centimeters) lengthy and utterly stuffed her abdomen, in accordance with the report, revealed Feb. 9 within the journal BMJ Case Reports.

The 17-year-old initially went to the hospital after she fainted twice, bruising her face and scalp throughout the falls.

The 17-year-old initially went to the hospital after she fainted twice, bruising her face and scalp throughout the falls.

Doctors wished to rule out a head harm, however throughout an examination, additionally they observed a mass within the lady’s higher stomach. The teen mentioned she had skilled intermittent stomach ache for the previous 5 months, which had worsened over the 2 weeks previous to her hospital go to, the report mentioned. 


She additionally had a historical past of two psychological well being issues: trichotillomania, or a powerful urge to tug out one’s hair; and the associated situation trichophagia, or the compulsive consuming of hair.

A computed tomography (CT) scan revealed a “grossly distended abdomen” with a big mass inside, and a tear within the abdomen wall, in accordance with the examine authors, from Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham in England.

The teen was identified with Rapunzel syndrome, wherein a hairball within the abdomen — recognized medically as a trichobezoar — extends into the gut, Live Science beforehand reported.

She underwent surgical procedure, and docs eliminated the hairball, which was so giant it “shaped a forged of all the abdomen,” the authors mentioned. 

Between 0.5% and three% of individuals will expertise trichotillomania sooner or later of their lives, in accordance with the National Organization for Rare Disorders. Only about 10% to 30% of individuals with trichotillomania even have trichophagia, Live Science beforehand reported. And amongst folks with each circumstances, solely about 1% develop lots of hair of their gastrointestinal tract, in accordance with a 2019 examine revealed within the journal Pancreas.

Eating hair could cause critical problems, together with obstruction of the intestines and even demise, in accordance with the Mayo Clinic. In 2017, a 16-year-old lady in England died from Rapunzel syndrome after a hairball in her abdomen induced a deadly an infection.


In the present case, the teenager was admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) after her surgical procedure, and she or he acquired meals by way of a feeding tube inserted into her small gut whereas her abdomen healed.

After analysis by hospital psychiatrists, she had an “uneventful postoperative course,” and was launched from the hospital seven days after her surgical procedure, the authors wrote. One month later, she had no indicators of problems, “was progressing effectively with dietary recommendation” and was seeing a psychologist, they mentioned.

Originally revealed on Live Science. 

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