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Rope of hair removed from teen-ager's stomach (With image)

IANS  |  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 Thursday.

The rope had been in the girl's stomach for about four years.

"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," Parabal Roy, senior consultant at Asian Centre for Advanced Surgery, said in a statement.

"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," 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 hair ball 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.

First Published: Thu, June 06 2013. 18:19 IST