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Case report
Management of a trichobezoar caused by consumption of artificial hair extensions
  1. Ria Emma Smith,
  2. Jaideep Singh Rait,
  3. Amira Said and
  4. Shwetal Dighe
  1. General Surgery, Darent Valley Hospital, Dartford, Kent, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Ria Emma Smith; ria.smith{at}


Trichobezoars are rare, but most commonly found in young women with trichophagia and trichotillomania. Complications can include iron deficiency anaemia and gastric erosion or, rarely, perforation. A 19-year-old woman presented with epigastric pain, vomiting and lethargy. Initial investigations revealed a palpable abdominal fullness on examination and iron deficiency anaemia. Oesophagogastroduodenoscopy found a large trichobezoar associated with gastric erosions, polyps and an ulcer. Subsequently, the patient reported previous consumption of artificial hair extensions, which ceased 5 years previously. Attempts to remove the trichobezoar by endoscopy were ineffective and in line with current literature, laparotomy was successful. This case describes a rare cause of trichobezoar and emphasises the importance of appropriate initial investigations and definitive management.

  • endoscopy
  • stomach and duodenum
  • gastrointestinal surgery
  • impulse control disorders
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  • Contributors The patient was under the care of SD. Case report was written and reviewed by RES, JSR and AS and supervised by SD.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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