Woman Has Giant Hairball Removed From Stomach!

The New England Journal of Medicine is devoting part of it's Thanksgiving issue to a giant hairball...not the kind your cat throws up occasionally.

The journal details the case of a 18-year-old woman who consulted a team of gastrointestinal specialists. Her complaint consisted of a five-month history of pain and swelling in her abdomen, vomiting after eating and a 40-pound weight loss. An x-ray of the woman's abdomen revealed a large mass, doctors lowered a scope through her esophagus.

"A large bezoar occluding nearly the entire stomach," wrote Drs. Ronald M. Levy and Srinadh Komanduri, gastroenterologists at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois.

In layman's terms, a bezoar is a hairball.

"On questioning, the patient stated that she had had a habit of eating her hair for many years -- a condition called trichophagia," they wrote.

Surgery was performed to remove the mass of dark, curly hair, which weighed 10 pounds and measured 15 inches by 7 inches by 7 inches.

A year after the procedure, the woman as regained some of the weight and no longer experiences pain.

I suppose that is until she eats enough hair to form another hairball.


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