Extraction of a trichobezoar (hair ball) in a 14-year-old girl!
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Description: This young patient had a habit of eating her own hair. Over the years, the blockage accumulated to the point where she couldn’t eat or drink without getting sick, so her parents took her to the hospital. It was evident that performing surgery was the only option to save her life. Trichobezoars are concretions of swallowed hair in the digestive tract. This condition is more common in women, especially adolescent girls (90%). Trichobezoars are associated with trichophagia (compulsive eating of hair) as a result of pica – an eating disorder manifested by an appetite for nonnutritive substances and often associated with mental alteration – and coexistent psychiatric disturbances. The diagnosis may be suspected in young females with abdominal pain, epigastric mass and malnutrition, who have a history of trichophagia. A small trichobezoar can be treated using non-surgical methods, but large ones usually require open surgery.