Woman's giant hairball cut out of stomach
Published : 20 Apr 2017, 19:20
“Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair” is the famous fairytale cry.
But real life moved from Grimm to gruesome for one 38-year-old woman in the US who had a giant 15cm hairball in her stomach.
She is one of only a handful of documented cases of “Rapunzel syndrome”, which is caused by people plucking and eating their own hair.
Their once glorious locks build up in the digestive system where they can eventually have a devastating effect.
The woman, who has not been named, developed sudden vomiting and constipation. Meanwhile, her stomach swelled as it filled with liquids and gas.
She had gone off food for a year, lost 15lb in the previous eight months, and by the time she reached hospital, was unable to keep down any food.
Doctors in Arizona, writing in the BMJ Case Reports, initially gave her donor blood to tackle her anaemia.
But when they performed abdominal surgery they uncovered a 6inx4in (15cmx10cm) ball of densely packed hair in the stomach and then another 1.5inx1in (4cmx3cm) hairball in the small intestines.
The two elements of Rapunzel syndrome: Trichotillomania - the irresistible urge to pull out hair and Trichophagia - compulsively eating hair.
The blockages were safely removed and the woman was given a diet high in protein to help her recover.
There have only been 88 other reported cases of Rapunzel syndrome.
In some the hair snakes all the way through the digestive system from stomach to large intestines.
Most cases are in childhood - with 40 percent of Rapunzels under the age of 10.
- Most viewed
- JS speaker returns home from Australia
- Free Online Course Beginner’s Guide to Writing in English for University Study
- Global Youth Leaders Travel and Learning Camp 2017 in Singapore
- Fully Funded Master of Computer Science at Jinan University, China
- Master and PhD scholarship program in Science, Japan
- Chicken Irani
- How breathing exercises can help prevent high blood pressure
- Cultural personality Kazi Arif ‘clinically dead’
- Prehistoric human DNA found in caves without bones
- Cabinet Secy: PayPal to start soon
- David Cameron meets Sheikh Hasina
- 27 April Births
- 27 April Deaths
- PM opens Digital Island Moheshkhali
- No change in UK-Bangladesh ties for Brexit: Cameron
- PM asks all to promote Chittagong Port's goodwill
- Bappa Mazumder sings duet with Sona Mohapatra
- Make Your Own Mango Bubble Tea