Rapunzel Syndrome

Rapunzel syndrome is a very rare condition in which a large hair ball (trichobezoar) gets lodged in your stomach and extends into your small intestine. This causes the hair ball to look like a comma sign.

Causes of Rapunzel Syndrome


Cognitive behavioral therapy or other forms of psychiatric evaluation might help a psychologist or psychiatrist pinpoint and address mental health problems that might be causing you to eat your hair. This might also include counseling for parents.


Your doctor may also prescribe medications to help you gain control over your mental health.

Symptoms of Rapunzel Syndrome

  • Stomach pain

  • Bloating

  • Feeling full

  • Weight loss

  • Nausea

  • Low weight and intense fear of weight gain (anorexia nervosa)

  • Vomiting after meals

  • Pain or discomfort under your ribcage (acute epigastric pain)

  • Patchy hair loss on your scalp (alopecia)

  • Bad breath (halitosis)

Diagnosis of Rapunzel Syndrome

  • X-ray

  • Ultrasound

  • CT scan

  • Fluoroscopy barium study (barium swallow test). For this imaging test, you’ll swallow barium, a type of chemical that makes certain areas of your body show up more clearly on an X-ray.

  • Fluoroscopy is a medical procedure in which doctors pass continuous X-ray beams through your body to get a real-time video of a body part.

  • Endoscopy - Your doctor passes a thin, flexible tube with a light and camera down your throat to see the inside of your body clearly in real time. It also allows your doctor to take a sample of whatever is causing the blockage in your stomach.

Treatment of Rapunzel Syndrome


It’s a type of surgery in which a surgeon makes a cut in your belly to open and examine your stomach cavity and take out the hair ball. In some cases, complications might include infection and scar tissue around the cut.


This is an alternative procedure to laparotomy. The surgeon will make a smaller keyhole-sized cut on your belly to remove the hair ball. The recovery is much shorter with this method.

diseases treatments syndromes disorders rapunzel-syndrome health

Subscribe For More Content