WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT

Nauseating footage shows surgeons struggling to remove a 8.04lb (3.65kg) hairball from a girl's stomach.

The mass of hair, which measured 35x13cm (13.7x5.1 inches), took up nearly all of the unnamed girl's organ, leaving little room for food, reports Daily Mail.

The severely malnourished girl, from India, was hospitalised after suffering severe abdominal pains, which had gotten worsen over the past two years.

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When questioned by doctors, she admitted to having a habit of chewing her hair, which is known as Rapunzel syndrome.

Since having the hairball prised out of her stomach, the girl has been discharged from hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.

HAD TO DELAY SURGERY DUE TO MALNOURISHMENT

The 12-year-old underwent the procedure at the Mangystau Regional Children's Hospital in the city of Aktau, in south-western Kazakhstan's Mangystau region.

Due to her being malnourished, the operation had to be delayed until she was strong enough to go under the knife.

Her doctor explained: "Due to her low protein level and swollen legs, doctors needed two days to prepare the girl for surgery."

WHAT IS RAPUNZEL SYNDROME?

Rapunzel syndrome is a rare condition where hairballs are found in the digestive tract after a person ingests their own hair.

It usually occurs in emotionally disturbed or mentally retarded youngsters.

A hairball, known as a bezoar, extends from the stomach, with it's 'tail' in the small intestine.

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Hairballs are accumulations of human or vegetable fibres that gather in the gastrointestinal tract.

They increase in size due to hair and fibre not being absorbed.

Symptoms can include abdominal pain and nausea.

Left untreated, hairballs can cause tearing and obstruction in the stomach and bowel.

Most hairballs occur from swallowed hair from people's heads, dolls or brushes.

Source: Clinical Medicine and Research journal