A surgical team removed a hairball weighing one kilogram from a 17-year-old girl's stomach in the Akhisar district of Manisa province on Thursday.
The 17-year-old Z.Ş. was brought to Akhisar State Hospital with complaints of a severe stomachache, vomiting and lack of appetite according to information obtained by the Anatolia news agency. After a surgical examination, doctors determined a hairball was lodged in the young girl's stomach. The one-kilogram hairball was removed by Dr. Mustafa Sarı.
Dr. Sarı told the Anatolia news agency that “the young girl, after complaining about severe stomachache, vomiting and lack of appetite, was brought to our hospital by her mother. When we realized that there was a foreign object in the girl's stomach, we were told by her mother that the girl had been eating her own hair for over a year. I had never come across such a big hairball in my entire career. People who cannot display their emotions and people with psychological issues sometimes eat their hair or other objects. However, eating hair is very rare, but the stomach cannot digest it.”
After the operation, the girl's mother said she was happy to see her daughter healthy again and that she would cut her daughter's hair short to prevent her from eating it.
This disorder is referred to as Trichophagia and is characterized by the person eating hair, usually their own and mainly after pulling it out. Sometimes it involves putting the root bulb to the lips, tasting the hair and chewing it. Occasionally those with the disorder may even eat the hair of others. In the psychiatric field it is considered a compulsive psychological disorder and in some cases, a surgical operation may be necessary to remove the hairball.