November 23, 2007
The New England Journal of Medicine has devoted part of its Thanksgiving issue to a giant hairball -- and not the feline kind. The prestigious journal details the case of a previously healthy 18-year-old woman who consulted a team of gastrointestinal specialists. She complained of a five-month history of pain and swelling in her abdomen, vomiting after eating and a 40-pound weight loss. After a scan of the woman's abdomen showed a large mass, doctors lowered a scope through her esophagus. It revealed "a large bezoar occluding nearly the entire stomach," wrote Drs. Ronald M. Levy and Srinadh Komanduri, gastroenterologists at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois. For the uninitiated, a bezoar is a hairball. "On questioning, the patient stated that she had had a habit of eating her hair for many years -- a condition called trichophagia," they wrote. "It seemed like she'd been doing this for several years," Levy told CNN. The woman underwent surgery to remove the mass of black, curly hair, which weighed 10 pounds and measured 15 inches by 7 inches by 7 inches, the doctors said. Five days later, she was eating normally and was sent home. A year later, the pain and vomiting were gone, the patient had regained 20 pounds "and reports that she has stopped eating her hair."
just think how rad it would be had i found out abut this yesterday and posted it JUST as you gave LOA one last look before sitting down to your thanksgiving day feast!! i really dropped the (hair) ball on that one. but really, thanksgiving or not, this is gonna ruin anything you eat for like the next month.
nice shot ProjectMatt!