A 22-year-old man with a painfully enlarged bowel had 30 inches of his large intestine removed that contained approximately 28 pounds of feces. The three-hour procedure was completed at the Tenth People’s Hospital of Shanghai in China, taking out feces that had been collecting in the man’s colon for months, if not years.
As reported by the Daily Mail, the man’s abdomen had swollen to the point of resembling the ninth month of pregnancy by the time he came to the hospital seeking relief for his symptoms.
Doctors working on the case believed the man had suffered from constipation for years and appeared “like he was about to explode.”
During the procedure, surgeons stitched the ends of the removed section closed, preventing the feces within from spilling out.
Medical experts believe the unnamed man has Hirschsprung’s disease, a condition where the nerves that are supposed to govern activity in the intestine are missing. This leads the bowels to swell and prevents feces from moving properly as the muscles fail to contract in a way that supports a normal flow.
The man reportedly struggled with constipation since birth. The patient resorted to treatments like laxatives but told his physician they only provided temporary relief.
Considered a rare medical condition, Hirschsprung’s disease is said to affect one in every 5,000 children born and is not often diagnosed in adults. The disease is also more commonly associated with males as well as those with certain inherited conditions or abnormalities, such as Down’s syndrome and congenital heart disease, respectively.
Surgery is typically required for anyone suffering from the disease at some point. Those who develop extreme symptoms often need stoma surgery, diverting feces out of the body and into a small pouch.