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Mumbai docs extract 100 gm ‘hairball’ from minor girl’s tummy

Mumbai, March 29 (IANS) In an unusual surgery, doctors removed a 100 gm hairball from the stomach of a 10-year-old girl from Dadar, who was habituated to plucking her hair and swallowing it.

The girl, Kiara Bansal, who was suffering from a bizarre disorder called ‘trichophagiais’ – compulsive eating of hair, linked to ‘trichotillomania’ (hair-pulling) – was brought to the Bai Jerbai Wadia Hospital for Children in Parel, suffering from intense pain.

Paediatric surgeon Parag Karkera conducted a clinical examination and felt what was a lump in the girl’s abdomen.

“We conducted a CT-Scan which showed a ‘trichobezoar’ or a mass of hair in the stomach and some part of the mass was going into the duodenum, the first part of the small intestine,” said Karkera.

Since hair does not dissolve in the stomach, it remains in the digestive system, and then turns into a ball or a mass which keeps increasing, though it is rarely seen among children, he explained.

The medical team carried out a two-hour surgery to remove the hairball from Kiara’s tummy, and she is doing well on follow-up.

Karkera said that even Kiara’s parents were not aware of her ‘habit’, but not treating in time could have led to complications like intestinal obstruction, perforated intestines or a hole in the stomach wall and small intestine.