Pune: A tumour weighing 600g consisting of hair, metal and plastic was extracted from a 16-year-old girl’s stomach at a city-based hospital recently in a rare case.
The girl from Solapur complained of tiredness, breathlessness, fever and vomiting, and lost 22 kg weight in one-and-half months. Despite visiting many doctors, the relief from fever was temporary.
The parents, after consulting many doctors, visited Dr Mahendra Kawedia, pulmonologist at Jehangir Hospital in Pune.
On finding something hard in her stomach, he asked for a sonography which showed a normal report.
“A detailed CT scan showed large space occupying lesion in stomach almost the size of a cricket ball. Which is when I probed into history,” said Dr Kawedia.
The parents were shocked when the doctor asked if the young girl ate hair.
The young patient’s parents confirmed that this was indeed her childhood habit.
“The girl would eat plastic, paint of the walls, metal, hair since she was a 5-year-old. While we tried admonishing her, she continued doing so when we were not watching or at school. At a wedding in the family, she ate her mother’s shiny zari border of the sari and got a sound yelling. However, we had not realised the severity of the issue,” confirmed the parents.
Dr Gowri Singh, a laparoscopic surgeon from Jehangir Hospital said the case is a rare one.
“The girl was operated on November 4 at Jehangir Hospital. It was a rare case because the mass was occupying the entire stomach. I have never seen such a big tumour before and the parents were unaware of her condition,” said Dr Gowri Singh.
The tumour was 15 inches long and weighed 600 gm and caused pain.
Dr Mahendra Kawedia said the mass was bigger than the incision and they had to gently mobilise it and remove it from the stomach. The patient is fine now, doctors said.
FACTS AT A GLANCE
- The mass, surgically removed from the girl’s stomach, is known as trichobezoar.
- A trichobezoar is a bezoar, a mass trapped in the gastrointestinal system, formed from ingestion of hair.
- Trichobezoars are often associated with trichotillomania, compulsive hair pulling.
- “Trichobezoars are rare, but can be fatal if undetected. Surgical intervention is often required,” said
- Dr Kawedia.
- Symptoms include epigastric pain, nausea, loss of appetite and bowel or gastric outlet obstruction.