Doctors in Hanoi have removed a huge hairball from the stomach of an 11-year-old girl who had been eating her own hairs since childhood.
The family of the girl, M.Q.T., said she has had the habit of plucking out her own hairs and swallowing them since she was two years old, but they did not pay much attention to her condition.
It was not until recently when the girl began to suffer from abdominal pain and yellow and bloodied vomit that she was taken to the National Children's Hospital in Hanoi.
She was underweight for her age, weighing only 30 kilograms at the time of hospitalization.
Imaging revealed she had a bulk of hair in her stomach, Dr. Tran Anh Quynh, deputy head of the hospital’s general surgery department, was quoted by the news site Dan Tri (Literacy) as saying.
Due to its huge size, doctors were forced to cut open her stomach to remove the solid clump of hair that measured 20 centimeters at its longest side.
The operation took around one hour on April 16.
The infirmary’s deputy director Dr. Pham Duy Hien told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that if left unchecked, the hairball could have caused serious complications such as stomach ulcers, yellowing of the skin, biliary obstruction, and acute pancreatitis.
A hairball found in the stomach is a rare condition that usually occurs among young women, Dr. Hien noted.
He added most patients suffer mental disorders where they have a compulsive urge to pull out their hair and eat it.
After the procedure, the girl was sent for psychological treatment to help her stop the dangerous habit.
She has since been discharged from the hospital and is now in a stable condition, Hien said.