Czech doctors successfully operated on a girl who swallowed her hair

A Czech hospital announced, on Tuesday, that its surgeons had removed a ball of hair the size of a pint of glass blocking the stomach of a girl suffering from a very rare mental illness, who was tearing and swallowing her hair.

The 11-year-old suffers from Rapunzel syndrome, which was first reported in 1968, with only a few dozen cases documented worldwide to date.

It is named after a girl with very long hair from a Grimm Brothers story, who inspired a 2010 Disney cartoon called “Tangled” (“Raiponce” in France, “Tangled” in Quebec).

“The maladie is liée à ce qu’on appelle la trichotillomanie et la trichophagie, which consists of arracher and avaler ses cheveux,” an indicative Matus Peteja, chirurgien in chef at the Opava hospital, in the last of the la Czech Republic.

He said that this syndrome mainly affects young girls and women under the age of twenty.

The thick, cylindrical tuft, 20 cm long and 8 cm in diameter, was too large to be removed orally and doctors had to remove it by laparoscopy.

“If we had not removed it, the girl would have been in pain and would have gradually lost weight. In the extreme case, the stomach wall could have been damaged or even perforated,” Petiga told AFP.

He added that the girl, who is now in good health, will now undergo psychiatric and psychiatric treatment.

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