Doctors Discover Large Hairball In Girl’s Stomach

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An 11-year-old girl who was so ill she could barely swallow
was found to have a giant hairball weighing more than a kilo in her stomach. The
unnamed girl arrived at a hospital in Taraz, in southern Kazakhstan’s Jambyl
region, suffering from such a severe stomach ache she was unable to eat or
drink.

Surgeons decided to operate on her immediately to find out
what was wrong, and were shocked when they discovered the huge ball of hair in
her digestive system.
They found 17cm 
(6.7in) of hairball filling her stomach and 35cm (13.8 inches)
protruding into her bowel.
Her parents admitted they had often spotted her chewing her
long hair, but said they didn’t know this habit was unhealthy. They also had no
idea she was swallowing the hair she chewed off, a condition known as tricophagia. 
The girl was diagnosed with Rapunzel syndrome, a rare
condition in which a hairball (called a trichobezar) becomes stuck in the
stomach, with its tail in the colon.
As the hairball grows, it can cause ulcers, tear the stomach
and bowel and block the digestive system.

The syndrome is rare, with less than 120 cases reported in
the medical literature, and it almost always affects young women. 

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