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The Curious Case Of The Man Who Spent His Entire 22-Year-Long Life Constipated And Ultimately Needed To Have 30 Inches Of His Colon Removed

Rido - stock.adobe.com - illustrative purposes only, not the actual people

If you’ve ever been in the clutches of constipation’s merciless grip, you know how unpleasant the feeling can be.

The bloating and the pain gnawing at your insides imprisons you in a state of discomfort and despair.

The majority of us have only been afflicted with these horrors for a short time—a few days at most. But one man was tormented by the condition for 22 years.

Five years ago, doctors in Shanghai, China, removed 30 inches of a 22-year-old man’s colon. It weighed 28.6 pounds and was filled with feces that had accumulated since birth.

The surgery lasted three hours. According to Yin Lu, a doctor at Tenth People’s Hospital, where the surgery took place, the man’s abdomen was so swollen that he appeared as if he were nine months pregnant.

The man was diagnosed with Hirschsprung’s disease, a condition caused by missing nerve cells at the end of a person’s bowel.

Without the nerve endings, the bowel is unable to move digested waste through the intestines properly. As a result, the waste just sits there, creating blockages and causing the colon to swell.

Hirschsprung’s disease is usually seen in infants and occurs in one out of 5,000 newborns. It is diagnosed if a baby fails to have a bowel movement 48 hours after birth. It is treated by surgically removing the part of the colon that does not have any nerve cells.

Some people may start showing signs of Hirschsprung’s disease when they’re older. In older children, symptoms can look like a swollen belly, chronic constipation, loss of appetite, and malnutrition.

Rido – stock.adobe.com – illustrative purposes only, not the actual people

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