A large lump of hair weighing around 2 kg was recovered from the stomach of a 17-year old girl at Lucknow’s Balrampur Hospital. Gastro-surgeon Dr SR Samadder performed the operation and said that the girl suffered from the rare disease of Trichobezoar in which the patients eat their own hair by plucking it.
On being asked about the reason for the girl’s strange habit of eating hair, Dr Samadder said that this disease is usually seen in patients suffering from depression.
“It is a psychological problem. The person plucks out his hair and eats it hiding it from others. After the girl is in a stable condition, I will refer her to the psychiatric department of our hospital where she would get counseling,” he said.
“10 days ago, this girl came to our hospital and complained of vomiting and abdominal pain. There was a large swelling on the upper portion of her abdomen. Her problem couldn’t be diagnosed through ultrasound, X-ray or CT scan, so we did an endoscopy and found a large trichobezoar in her stomach,” he stated.
Dr Samadder informed that he, along with a team of doctors, operated on the girl on Thursday and removed a lump of hair weighing around 2 kg and measuring 20 cm in length and 15 cm in width from her stomach. The lump had taken the form of a ball of stone inside the girl’s stomach.
“Due to the lump, the food couldn’t stay in the stomach and neither could it pass to the small intestine. Therefore, the girl was getting weaker. She weighed only 32 kg despite being 17 years old. Now that she is operated upon, she will recover soon and will be able to ingest food within four to five days,” he added.
The girl will be given psychotherapy and social therapy, the doctor informed, emphasizing that her parents need to stay vigilant. The girl’s parents expressed gratitude towards God for saving their daughter and were relieved that she could be treated in time.
“She complained of stomach ache for two months, so we brought her here. We didn’t know of her habit of eating hair. She used to function normally at home,” said the girl’s father. “We are very happy that her problem was diagnosed in time and she is fine now,” said the girl’s mother.
The complete treatment could only be done through psychological counseling, said the Director of Balrampur Hospital Dr Ravindra Kumar.
(With inputs from ANI)