VILLUPURAM: A 15-year-old girl of class VIII in Villupuram underwent surgery to get one kg of hairball removed from her gut after she suffered Rapunzel Syndrome for a year.
The syndrome makes a person eat their own hair, a strand or two at a time, leading to the unusual formation of bezoar extending from the stomach to the small intestine or beyond. Bezoars are concretions in the gastrointestinal tract that increase in size by continuous accumulation of non-absorbable food or fibres.
Dr Raja Mahendran performed the surgery successfully early in June at his private hospital in Villupuram. Dr Mahendran told The New Indian Express, "The girl was diagnosed with heavy stomach pain and frequent vomiting in April. Upon scanning, we figured it was a ball of hair in her stomach extending up to the small intestine. We performed a surgery similar to C-section in delivery to scoop the ball out. It was all hair and nothing else. The accumulation had happened over a period of more than one year, since the online classes began."
The parents of the girl had left her under grandmother's supervision and worked away from her in the past one year while the girl had completely disliked online classes, said sources.
The stress had developed the syndrome in the girl, said Dr Mahendran who insisted that online classes must be stopped given many psychiatric ill effects on children below 16 years of age and sometimes above.
"The girl told that she absolutely didn’t like the online classes. She has recovered well and is under counselling," Dr Mahendran said.