A mother-of-two from Russia has had two enormous cysts filled with hair removed from her ovaries.
The unidentified woman, 30, went to hospital after suffering from pain in her abdomen.
Doctors in Moscow said some of the hairs were five inches in length, with the cysts – one in each ovary – weighing almost four ounces (113g).
One picture shows a surgeon laughing as he holds the hair-covered cysts with tweezers during the keyhole surgery.
The growths were later found to be dermoid cysts, which are made from reproductive cells which can turn into various human tissues such as hair, skin and even teeth.
They are a very rare form of ovarian cyst, which are common in women and can sometimes cause pelvic pain and bloating.
A Russian woman, 30, who went to hospital after suffering from pain in her abdomen was found to have enormous ovarian cysts filled with hair (pictured after being removed)
Doctors at the Kolomna Perinatal Centre near Moscow removed the hair-filled dermoid cysts
Doctors at the centre (pictured) said some of the hairs were five inches in length, with the cysts – one in each ovary – weighing almost four ounces
In rare cases, ovarian cysts have reached several stone in weight before being removed.
Dermoid cysts develop from embryonic cells that stayed in a sort of developmental limbo after a person’s birth.
For this reason, the cells possess everything they need to morph into any of several types of tissue later in life.
Dr Tatania Shavrak, who operated on the Russian woman at the Kolomna Perinatal Centre, near Moscow, said: ‘Dermoid cysts are a noncancerous tumour of the ovary.
‘They are capsules with rather thick walls which consist of mucus mixed with various human tissues.
‘Inside the cyst we find the upper layer of our skin, fats, hair, bones and even teeth.’
The cysts were successfully removed with only minor incisions, and the woman’s reproduction system was not affected.
There are no figures for the prevalence of dermoid cysts, but astonishing cases have hit headlines in recent years.
Last year, a 32-year-old mother living in Michigan was found to have a dermoid cyst with traces of vegetables in it.
The doctors, who described the growth as ‘foul-smelling’ said the reason the cyst contained vegetable fibre was because the woman’s bowel had perforated and the matter leaked out.
Dr Tatania Shavrak, who operated on the Russian woman at the Kolomna Perinatal Centre, near Moscow, said: ‘Dermoid cysts are a noncancerous tumour of the ovary’
The unnamed 32-year-old went to a hospital because she’d had pain in the torso for about a week, with it getting worse in the past few days.
Scans revealed one of her ovaries was infected after she was originally given an STI test and given antibiotics used to treat gonorrhoea.
CT scans showed the woman’s left ovary was attached to the wall of her pelvis and to part of her bowel.
An explanation of her case, published in the journal BMJ Case Reports, said doctors suspected a ‘superinfection’.
When surgeons investigated they found a dermoid cyst, with a scan revealing a 4.7cm by 4cm mass containing vegetable fibre, human hair, gas, fat, and calcium build-up.
In November 2018, a woman from Swansea, Keely Favell, 28, had a four stone (26kg) cyst, which had led to doctors telling her she was pregnant, removed.
The operation came after an ultrasound scan showed a black screen, rather than a foetus.
After the five-hour procedure, Ms Favell was left with a 30cm scar snaking from her sternum to her pelvis.
WHAT IS A DERMOID CYST?
Dermoid cysts are growths which can occur on women’s ovaries, and are also known as teratomas, which comes from the Greek word for ‘monster’.
The cysts tend to be benign, meaning they aren’t cancerous, and stem from embryo cells which have the potential to develop into various types of human tissue.
For this reason, the cysts can contain hair, teeth and skin tissue, which the cells have developed into outside of their normal locations.
Dermoid cysts can contain hair and tooth-like calcifications
They often develop from cells which were left in limbo and never fully grew after the patient was born.
For this reason, the cells possess everything they need to morph into any of several types of tissue, but it remains unclear why the strange and usually harmless phenomenon occurs to some women and not others.
Teratomas that contain cells that have not yet become distinguished are dangerous because they can become cancer cells.
Most cysts, although they can grow to be large and press on other organs and tissues, can be safely removed with surgery.