Massive Hairball Removed From Woman's Stomach (Photos)

| by Michael Howard
Rapunzel syndromeRapunzel syndrome

Doctors pulled almost 16 inches and 7 pounds of hair out of woman's stomach after she was admitted to the hospital for extreme digestive issues and abdominal pain.

When the 31-year-old woman, who lives in Punchkula, India, arrived at the hospital, she told doctors she couldn’t eat or drink anything without immediately vomiting, according to the Daily Mail.

It turns out she had been pulling out and eating her hair since she was 9 years old.

At first, doctors say the woman denied ever ingesting her own hair.

"When she came to [the] hospital we asked her if she had a habit of chewing her hair, to which she said no," Dr. Hardeep Singh said. "But when we got her ultrasound done, it confirmed a huge mass in her stomach that demanded immediate attention."

Following the emergency operation, the woman confessed to eating her hair for more than 20 years.

"Her stomach and intestines were filled with hair so there was no way she could've digested food or water," Dr. Singh said, adding, "Whatever she consumed was not getting absorbed and she would vomit."

She is now able to properly digest food and water.

"She is now having proper meals without any issue and will be discharged from [the] hospital after three days once her stitches are removed," Dr. Singh stated.

The woman was diagnosed with a rare psychological condition known as trichophagia, or Rapunzel syndrome.

"This is usually found in young girls [when] they suffer some kind of depression in their early years," Dr. Singh explained. "Some of them eat chalk, cement, [vegetable fibers] and stones. It demands immediate attention. If not noticed, it can be fatal."

After learning of the woman's condition, doctors approached her three children to make sure they hadn’t also developed Rapunzel syndrome. One of her daughters then admitted to eating cement, indicating that she might be suffering from pica, a condition where a person compulsively eats non-edible things.

The hospital is now monitoring her condition, as well.

Even after the terrifying ordeal, it is possible that the woman will continue ingesting her own hair, according to Inquisitr. Until the underlying psychological issues are addressed, she is liable to continue the dangerous habit.

Sources: Daily Mail, Inquisitr / Photo credit: Cover Asia Press via Daily Mail

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