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Case Reports in Gastrointestinal Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 857374, 3 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/857374
Case Report

Rapunzel Syndrome: A Rare Postpartum Case

1Department of Internal Medicine, Prince George’s Hospital Center, 3001 Hospital Drive, Cheverly, MD 20785, USA
2Ross University School of Medicine, P.O. Box 266, Roseau, West Indies, Dominica

Received 4 August 2013; Accepted 1 September 2013

Academic Editors: G. Bassotti, F. H. Mourad, and J. Wig

Copyright © 2013 Teshome Tegene et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The Rapunzel syndrome describes a disorder in which a significant amount of hair is swallowed, forming a trichobezoar that extends past the stomach into the small intestines. Given the indigestible nature of hair, it subsequently leads to obstruction within the gastrointestinal system. Clinically, patients may present with symptoms of gastrointestinal obstruction, including abdominal complaints such as pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. However, due to its broad and nonspecific presenting symptoms, the diagnosis of Rapunzel syndrome warrants consideration once other common etiologies have been excluded. Surgical intervention is often required to remove the abdominal mass. This unusual syndrome is often associated with psychiatric disorders, affecting young women most commonly. In this report, we will discuss a unique case of Rapunzel syndrome in a one-month postpartum woman.