Tamil Nadu

Hairball removed from teen’s stomach

A 15-year-old girl with decreased appetite, weight loss and repeated episodes of vomiting was found to have been ingesting her own hair over the past two years, in a rare medical condition called the Rapunzel’s Syndrome.

The teen was clinically evaluated for her symptoms and doctors were shocked to find a large clump of hair in her stomach.

According to Dr. R. Raja Mahendran, surgical gastroenterologist of RRM Gastro Hospital, the girl was brought to the hospital recently with complaints of abdominal pain and vomiting and underwent scanning.

“Initially, we thought that it was an abdominal mass but a closer examination with endoscopy revealed that the teen had a habit of ingesting her own hair,” he said.

The girl had been doing this at home for the past one year, without the knowledge of anyone at home, he said.

Soon after the cause was established, a team of doctors led by R. Raja Mahendran, conducted a surgery, and removed a hairball weighing nearly 1.5 kg from her stomach, he claimed.

The habit of ingesting one’s hair is Rapunzel Syndrome and this is probably the first such case in Villupuram, he said.

The girl weighed only 35 kgs when she was brought to the hospital for examination. The hair ball shaped in the form of a stomach had spread from her stomach to the small bowel, and it was surgically removed. The teen has been discharged, he added.

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Printable version | Dec 8, 2021 12:37:48 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/hairball-removed-from-teens-stomach/article35000550.ece

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