In 1779 Baudamant reported the first case of a gastric trichobezoar in a 16-year-old youth. The first successful removal of a gastric trichobezoar recorded was described by Shonborn in 1883. Three years later Thornton reported the first correct preoperative diagnosis of a hairball in the stomach.
De Bakey and Ochsner,2 in a comprehensive review of the literature in 1938, collected 303 cases of various types of bezoars of the stomach and intestine. In 1957 Mullen3 reviewed the literature, finding 211 cases of gastric trichobezoars. He noted that 80% of these cases occurred before the age of 30, and that 90% of the cases occurred in females. The great number of cases occurring in females has been attributed to their greater hair length and greater psychoneurotic tendencies. It is of interest, however, that only 14% have been reported in persons with proved mental illnesses.
The etiology of a gastric