Health knowledge and news provided by doctors.

Giant Hair Ball Removed From A Teen's Stomach With Trichophagia

Armen Hareyan's picture

Doctors from the Rush University Medical Center removed a 10 pound hairball from a teenage girl who was suffering from Trichophagia, a condition, according to which pople eat their own hair.

A previously healthy 18-year-old woman presented with a 5-month history of pain in the left upper quadrant of the abdomen, abdominal distention, postprandial emesis, and weight loss of 18 kg. Physical examination revealed a firm, tender, epigastric mass but was otherwise unremarkable.

Follow eMaxHealth on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook.
Please, click to subscribe to our Youtube Channel to be notified about upcoming health and food tips.

Computed tomography showed a large gastric mass extending from the fundus to the antrum (Panel A, arrow), with no indication of obstruction of the gastric outlet. Esophagogastroduodenoscopy revealed a large bezoar occluding nearly the entire stomach, without extension into the duodenum (Panel B). On questioning, the patient stated that she had had a habit of eating her hair for many years -- a condition called trichophagia. Owing to the large size of the trichobezoar (37.5 by 17.5 by 17.5 cm), endoscopic removal was not attempted.

Laparoscopic removal was attempted; however, conversion to an open procedure was required to completely remove the 4.5-kg trichobezoar (Panel C). The patient was tolerating a general diet by postoperative day 5 and was discharged to her home, with psychiatric and surgical follow-up.

One year after the surgery, she has no abdominal pain or vomiting. She has regained approximately 9 kg of body weight and reports that she has stopped eating her hair.



hi, im a 15 year old girl who has both trichophagia and trichotillomania. trichotillomania started when i was about 9 years of age, then eventually developed into trichophagia. my parents dont know that i have trichophagia. they want me to have medical attention for my hair pulling, but i refuse to get help. i tried an anti-depressant pill called St.John's Wort. But i quit taking it because i somehow feel better when im depressed. I hope all of you out there like me, can solve your hair disorder. Whether its trichophagia, trichotillomania or both. Good luck and enjoy life.