A girl in the U.K identified as Rachel Mark, who lives with Rapunzel Syndrome, had to undergo stomach surgery to remove a 19-inch long hairball. Rapunzel Syndrome is a mental health condition that causes a person to compulsively consume their own hair, resulting in an intestinal blockage.
In this teenager’s case, she suffered a tear in her stomach after the hair ball tore her stomach lining, according to ScienceAlert, a science research platform which shared the story on their Facebook page, Thursday. “After two fainting spells left the 17-year-old with a bruised face, she was administered to a hospital where professionals ruled out head trauma because of her enlarged abdomen and her complaints of belly pain. “A CT scan found a large mass inside her “grossly distended stomach” and a tear in the lining.
Doctors also discovered that the girl had a history of trichotillomania, which causes one to pull their own hair out, and trichophagia, which is the compulsive eating of hair,” the platform said. “Both conditions are extremely rare, according to the outlet. 0.5 per cent and three per cent of people experience trichotillomania and only 10 per cent to 30 per cent of those cases will develop trichophagia.
“And only one per cent of people with both will suffer Rapunzel syndrome. After doctors removed the hairball, which had “formed a cast of the entire stomach,” they repaired the tear. She then received psychiatric care and was sent home seven days later,” the post noted. The girl is now reportedly ‘progressing well with dietary advice’ and help from a therapist.