Doctors at the First Affiliated Hospital of Henan University of Science and Technology in Luoyang, Henan province, surgically removed the hairball from the stomach of the girl Jan 11, the Global Times reported Monday.
The mother of the girl in Luoyang was shocked when doctors revealed the reason why her daughter had been inexplicably losing her long hair and weight over the past year.
Doctors said the girl suffers from pica, a pathological disorder where a person develops an appetite for clay, dirt, chalk or other similar substances that are considered socially unusual to eat.
A CT scan taken at the hospital revealed that the mass of 30 cm long clump occupied 70 percent of the girl's stomach.
"The mass of hair was shaped like her stomach and is solid," said Chen Ye, deputy director of gastrointestinal tumor surgery department at the hospital.
"I've seen her put hair in her mouth but I thought she was just playing and didn't think much about it," said the girl's mother, who sought treatment when she discovered a lump in her daughter's stomach two weeks ago.
Chen advised parents to pay close attention to their children's behaviour and recommend timely treatment after any such discovery.