May 30, 2024

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Rapunzel Syndrome: Doctors in Greece removed a huge ball of hair from the girl’s stomach

Last month, at a private hospital in Thessaloniki, surgeons removed a huge hairball weighing 700 grams from the stomach of a 14-year-old girl. In psychiatry, eating hair is described as the Rapunzel Syndrome.

The girl was brought in with abdominal pain and examined by a pediatric surgeon who asked for a scan after seeing the specific actions the girl was doing with her hair. The scan showed the presence of a large mass in the abdomen. The girl underwent open abdominal surgery because the hairball was too large to be removed laparoscopically.

Such hairballs – or trichobezoars – are the result of the so-called “Rapunzel syndrome,” pediatric surgeon Katerina Rammata told state news agency amna. Rapunzel syndrome is an extremely rare intestinal disease in humans resulting from the ingestion of hair (trichophagia). Experts estimate that the hairball formed within 12 years, as the girl’s mother said that her daughter has been eating her hair since the age of two.

Rammata said it was extremely rare, adding that “about 500 cases have been reported worldwide….. I personally have not come across this yet.”

PS For twelve years, the girl ate her hair, and her parents did not take her to the doctors?



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