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Mug-size hair mass snipped from Czech with rare syndrome
A Czech hospital said Tuesday its surgeons removed a mass of hair the size of a beer mug from the stomach of a girl who suffers from an extremely rare hair eating disorder.
The 11-year-old has Rapunzel syndrome, a condition first reported in 1968 and of which only a few dozen cases have been documented worldwide.
It is named after a girl with very long hair from a tale by the Brothers Grimm, which had inspired the 2010 Disney blockbuster "Tangled".
"The disease is linked to so-called trichotillomania and trichophagia, which is hair pulling and eating," said Matus Peteja, head surgeon at the Silesian Hospital in the eastern Czech city of Opava.
He said the syndrome affected mostly girls from childhood to maturity.
The cylinder-shaped tuft that was 20 centimeters (8 inches) long and had 8 centimeters (3 inches) in diameter was too large to remove via the girl's mouth.
The doctors therefore had to take it out by surgery.
"If we had not removed it, the girl would have pains and gradually lose weight. In the extreme case, it could damage the stomach wall and perforate it," Peteja told AFP.
He added the girl, who is now doing well, would undergo psychiatric and psychological treatment.
© 2023 AFP