This footage shows a giant hairball inside an eight-year-old girl’s stomach before medics spent more than 13 hours removing it.
The hairball comes after the youngster surnamed Zhu was diagnosed with a psychological disorder known as pica, which is characterised by an appetite for substances such as hair, metal, glass, soil or even faeces.
On 25th May she was admitted to Xi’an Daxing Hospital, which is in Shaanxi Province in north-western China, under the care of head gastroenterologist Doctor Lin Tao.
The girl presented with a hardened object in her stomach and would vomit whenever she ate or drank anything.
Doctor Lin said: “We performed a gastroscopy and discovered a solid ball of hair in her stomach.
“It started in her stomach and reached the tip of the duodenum. It was very long – about 11 centimetres (4.3 inches), and nearly 6 centimetres (2.3 inches) thick.”
The child’s mother revealed that she had first noticed her daughter’s appetite for hair when she was just three years of age. They brought her to a specialist but were unable to find a cure.
“When we first discovered her habit, we tried to stop her and educate her, but then she never did it in front of us,” the mum said.
The girl revealed she would pluck single strands of hair off her bed and swallow them.
Doctor Lin said: “Her parents did not want her to undergo surgery because of the physical trauma it would’ve caused her body. It would’ve left a scar on her abdomen.
“We decided to cut it out a little bit at a time. We would cut a small piece off and removed endoscopically it.”
Starting on 27th May, the girl underwent multiple procedures over the course of just 10 days to have a total of 225 grams of hair removed – enough to fill an entire A4 piece of paper.
Lin revealed: “We performed four procedures in total, the longest of which lasted 13 hours.”
Lin said he broke nine snare loops and three forceps in the process.
He medic said: “It is very difficult for hair to be digested. It’s very tough.
“Pica has both psychological and physiological causes. She may be feeling lonely or neglected.
“It may also be a response to her body lacking a certain nutrients, causing her body to push her to ingest unusual supplements.”
According to reports, it was the largest hairball ever removed from a child under the age of 10 in mainland China.
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