Girl, 16, has giant clump of hair removed from stomach after 10 years of chewing
A 16-year-old girl had a giant clump of hair removed from her stomach after 10 years of chewing it.
The schoolgirl suffered from Rapunzel syndrome – where sufferers become addicted to chewing and ingesting their own hair.
Collecting in her stomach for a decade, the undigested hair, weight half a kilo, gathered into a hard mass.
The Russian girl was rushed for emergency surgery on the hair ball in the Siberian city of Tomsk.
Medics said 80% of the girl’s stomach was filled with the giant hair ball in a major threat to her health.
Her gastrointestinal tract was in danger of being totally blocked, said doctor-in-chief Andrey Karavaev.
Surgery was “urgent” at Emergency Medicine Clinic Number Two in Tomsk, according to reports.
The teenager is recovering after surgery and “feels much better”.
It was only the second Rapunzel syndrome case in 25 years in the region, according to reports.
Doctors said the girl – who was not named – may now require psychiatric care.
The human stomach is unable to digest hair, so it accumulates later turning into a clump, said medics.
The rare syndrome is named after the long-haired girl Rapunzel in the Brothers Grimm fairy tale.
Also known as Trichophagia, it can be associated with the hair-pulling disorder Trichotillomania.
In this case the girl had complained about "losing her hair" before medics found the ball in her stomach.
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