Surgeons in China saved a man's life when they removed almost 30 pounds of feces from his colon.
Zhou Hai, 22, had suffered from constipation since he was born, according to Asia One. His parents had thought it was a minor condition, and Zhou was never treated for it. Eventually, the condition worsened until Zhou suffered from extreme abdominal pain and was having difficulty breathing.
Zhou went to a hospital in Shanghai where a CT scan showed he had a massive buildup of feces in his colon. He then underwent a three-hour emergency surgery to remove part of his colon.
Zhou had told doctors that he would regularly take laxatives, but they only helped reduce his discomfort. His stomach was severely distended, and appeared nearly ready to burst.
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Graphic photos show the section of Zhou's colon that was removed, bloated with build up.
Doctor's said Zhou had months or possibly years worth of feces built up in his colon, reports the Mirror. The section that was removed weighed more than 28 pounds and was almost 30 inches long.
Zhou was diagnosed with Hirschsprung's disease, which can cause the large intestine to become blocked. Missing cells in the colon keep it from working as it should to pass waste, and can lead to chronic constipation if it is not treated.
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Hirschsprung's disease is usually treated when those with the condition are infants, but in rare cases it can go undiscovered until adulthood. To treat the condition, the part of the colon with the disease must be removed.
Zhou was reported to be in stable condition, and is expected to recover fully. The doctor that treated the man advised parents to seek medical help if their child is often constipated.
In a similar story from 2015, a 27-year-old man in China who was not identified underwent emergency surgery to remove 11 pounds of feces from his colon, Fox News reports.
The patient had been having stomach pain, and went to a hospital in Chengdu, where an X-ray showed his heart had shifted to the right because his colon had swelled to double its normal size.
The man had been admitted to the hospital for the same symptoms previously, but doctors were able to determine what caused the stomach pain. He had reportedly suffered from constipation for a decade.
Doctors diagnosed the man with congenital megacolon, which can lead to the bowels becoming paralyzed and cause fecal tumors.