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Khamis, 24 Januari 2013

‘Trichophagia’ or the habit of eating one’s own hair,

Siti Nasrah Binti Abdullah

A four-year-old girl, Siti Nasrah Binti Abdullah from Sandakan, Sabah, was found to have the rare disorder and was operated on by a team of surgeons who removed 800 grams of hair from her stomach at the Duchess of Kent Hospital here on December 24 last year.

The girl’s grandmother, in her 50s, told that she never knew her granddaughter was suffering from the disorder until she was informed of the discovery of a hairball in the latter’s stomach.The grandmother took her pale looking girl to the hospital in December after noticing the girl’s stomach was swollen.
According to Dr Vinod Kumar, a consultant surgeon at the Duchess of Kent Hospital’s Surgical Department, the girl was malnourished and suffering from abdominal pain when she was brought to the hospital. The 800-gram hairball.

“She was brought in with a swollen abdomen. While she was undergoing an ultrasound imaging and Computerized Tomography (CT) scan, we found a foreign mass in her stomach. The girl later underwent an oesophago-gastric-duodeno-scopy (OGDS) procedure.
“The hair accumulated in the gastrointestinal tract, causing symptoms such as indigestion and abdominal pain.

“If the hairball was small, non-invasive methods could be used to remove it. However, we found that the hairball was large and had to be surgically removed,” he said.
Looking at the large extracted hairball intertwined like a bird’s nest, it would seem that the girl had been eating her hair bit by bit for a long time.

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