Vietnam doctors remove clump of hair from girl's stomach

Thanh Nien News

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A bunch of hair that doctors in HCMC removed from the stomach of a 12-year-old girl who had been eating it for two years. Photo supplied by Dr. Nguyen Huu Chi at Ho Chi Minh City Children’s Hospital No.1

Doctors in Ho Chi Minh City removed a mass of hair from the stomach of a 12-year-old girl, who has been eating them for two years and which had caused a hole in her intestine.
The patient, identified only as T.A.T., was admitted to leading pediatrics facility Children’s Hospital No.1 on February 27 after being brought from her neighboring Long An Province, Tuoi Tre newspaper reported.
She was suffering from severe pain in the upper abdomen and vomiting often.
Dr Nguyen Huu Chi, head of the ultrasound scan department at the hospital, said scans showed an unidentified mass of material in her stomach running down into her duodenum (the first section of small intestine).
Endoscopic tests identified it as hair and it was five centimeters across and 10 cm long.
Doctors had to cut open her stomach since the clump was too large for endoscopic surgery.
Her family said she had been having mild pain constantly, eating less, and easily throwing up.
A hospital in Long An had said she might have inflammatory bowel disease and needed more observation.
At age 10 T. had started to pluck and eat her hair whenever she felt unhappy, the family said.
Chi said that is a sign of mental disorder among women.
“[Eating hair could cause] severe complications like holes, blockage of the intestines, and internal bleeding.”
Parents need to be alert when they see their children have significant hair loss and check if they eat it.
If they cannot talk a child out of the habit, they need to take them to a psychiatrist for treatment, he said.

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