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Rope of hair removed from teen-ager’s stomach

Faridabad: A 1.5-metre long rope of hair was removed by doctors from a 14-year-old girl’s stomach, hospital authorities said here on Thursday. The rope had been in the girl’s stomach for about four years.

Hair mass in the shape of stomach and 1.5-metre long rope of hair was removed from a 14-year-old girl's stomach.

“Sukanya (name changed) used to complain of severe abdominal pain over the past four years. Her parents eventually took her to Asian Institute of Medical Sciences (AIMS), where we examined her abdomen and found that it was very stiff. A CT scan showed a huge mass of hair in her abdomen,” Dr Prabal Roy, senior consultant at Asian Centre for Advanced Surgery, said in a statement.

Dr Prabal Roy

“Sukanya had eaten her hair, which formed a 1.5-metre rope inside her entire stomach and extended into her intestines, causing intestinal obstruction. The hair was cutting through the bowel wall and could have caused a life threatening perforation,” Dr Roy said.

According to doctors, Sukanya was suffering from Rapunzel Syndrome, a condition in which the patient has a tendency to pluck off their own hair and swallow it, resulting in a giant hairball in their gut that can lead to intense pain and other complications.

“Rapunzel Syndrome is an uncommon diagnosis in children with less than 30 cases reported all over the world and only three reported in India. It is an extremely rare intestinal condition in humans resulting from eating hair (trichophagia),” the doctors said. [IANS]

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