Doctors at the Ramenskaya hospital (Moscow region) saved the life of a young patient by removing a 45-cm hairball from her stomach. The weight of the foreign body was 1 kg.
The patient was admitted to the hospital with severe abdominal pain and also complained of nausea and vomiting. It turned out that for a long time the girl ate her hair, and a bezoar formed in her stomach. The operation was successful, and the girl has already been discharged.
What is a bezoar?
The word “bezoar” in Arabic means “stone”. In medicine, calculi are called bezoars – very dense, like stones, formations of natural origin in the stomach and intestines.
“Bezoars can reach the size of the head of a newborn baby and, accordingly, can cause severe pain, cause burning in the epigastric region, belching, nausea, and vomiting. It is for this reason that patients, as a rule, go to the doctor, ”said aif.ru endoscopist, oncologist, surgeon of the highest category of the City Clinical Hospital. Veresaeva Georgy Dmitrienko.
Bezoars can disrupt local circulation, cause bedsores and ischemic ulcers on the walls of the organ, they can also provoke internal bleeding, peritonitis, etc. And if the bezoar goes down from the stomach, a potentially fatal complication can occur – acute intestinal obstruction.
Why do bezoars appear?
– phytobezoars. They can be formed with the excessive use of persimmons, figs, plums, dates, grapes, nuts and sunflower seeds, especially poorly peeled and pitted. The risk increases if you do not drink these foods and chew them badly. Various problems with the gastrointestinal tract also contribute to pathology – increased viscosity of mucus in the stomach, impaired evacuation function, decreased secretion of gastric juice, and others;
– sebobezoars are formed by using goat, mutton and beef fat without sufficient heat treatment;
– anthracobezoars are an accumulation of undissolved residues of activated charcoal and other medicines;
– pixobesoars appear when drinking low-quality alcohol or swallowing chewing gum;
– trichobezoars appearing when swallowing hair, are, oddly enough, quite common phenomena. It turns out that many people under stress not only bite their nails, but also bite the ends of their hair. This can lead to the formation of giant “hairpieces” in the abdominal cavity, which disrupt the entire digestive tract and can lead to the most serious complications.
How are bezoars treated?
In November last year, a 12-year-old girl was admitted to the doctors in Ishim, Tyumen region, from whom specialists extracted a phytobezoar.
The child began to complain of pain in the abdomen, and an ultrasound examination showed the cause. On palpation, the doctor felt something dense and round in the intestines. A tumor was suspected, but computed tomography showed that it was a phytobezoar – an undigested lump of food. The girl managed to get rid of the foreign body with the help of endoscopy. We can say that the child was lucky, because often in such situations serious abdominal operations are required.
“This case could not have ended so favorably. In my practice, there was a situation when, in order to remove a hairball (trichobezoar), I had to perform a surgical abdominal operation. A harmless, at first glance, habit – chewing hair, led to a scar and a serious loss of health, ”Tyumen, who performed the operation, told aif.ru surgeon Farkhod Giyasov.
A endoscopist of the Moscow Regional Hospital named after Professor Rozanov Magamedveli Pashaev I remembered for aif.ru a similar case from my practice. Last autumn, a patient with a phytobezoar also came to him. She ended up in the clinic with a preliminary diagnosis of exacerbation of chronic pancreatitis. However, endoscopic examination revealed a phytobezoar in her stomach. Since the bezoar was soft enough, the doctors hoped that there was a chance that it would dissolve on its own, so the woman was released for observation. “A week later, the patient came for a routine examination, and her bezoar had already acquired a moderate density,” the doctor recalls. – Moreover, the fibrous stone turned out to be of impressive size – 3 by 4 centimeters. And this is already a serious threat and an indication for an inevitable operation. The endoscopists slightly crushed the bezoar (using a combined technique: mechanical and chemical), and then prescribed to the patient one well-known carbonated drink as a treatment. In some cases, it is able to dissolve the bezoar. The original tactic justified itself – the stone that crumbled as a result of the operation completely dissolved under the influence of sweet soda. But then the girl had to be treated for a long time for the gastritis that arose against the background of all these actions.