10 pounds, 15″x7″x7″

In 2007, an 18-year old girl entered the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.  She told specialists that for five months she had been experiencing pain and swelling in her abdomen.  Additional complaints included vomiting after eating and an unexplainable loss of 40 pounds.

X-rays revealed a large, dark mass in the woman’s stomach.  Concerned doctors then lowered a scope through her esophagus for further investigation.  What they found was a large ball of swallowed, foreign material nearly filling the woman’s entire abdominal region.  Doctors scheduled an operation to remove it.

When the woman underwent surgery, the foreign material proved to be a 10-pound hairball.  It was 15 inches in length and measured 7 inches across by 7 inches deep.

Upon questioning, the patient stated that she had had a habit of eating her hair for many years – a condition called trichophagia.  Trichophagia is the compulsive eating of hair, usually chewed while still attached to the head and then swallowed.  The hair eventually collects in the gastrointestinal tract causing symptoms such as indigestion and stomach pain.

Five days after the mass of black, curly hair was removed, the woman began eating normally and was sent home.  Supposedly, she has stopped consuming her hair.

For my vacation next week, I think I’ll be curly-haired-Ashleigh.  However, I will be sure to not dine on my hair, but at the greatest restaurant know to humanity – Chick-fil-A.

The (disgusting) hairball (below)

One Response to “10 pounds, 15″x7″x7″”

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