A Kyrgyzstan teen underwent life-saving surgery to remove a 9-pound hairball from her stomach, Metro reported.

Ayperi Alekseeva, 18, was taken to the hospital by her parents after complaining of severe stomach pains and the inability to eat or drink anything without becoming violently ill.

Doctors at Bishkek Hospital performed emergency surgery after an X-ray revealed the massive hairball was blocking Alekseeva’s digestive tract.

“The parents brought her in after she started losing weight, and she couldn’t eat anything. By the time we got her, should could not even drink water. We realized we needed to operate immediately,” Dr. Bahadir Bebezov, senior professor of surgery at Bishkek Hospital said.

Alekseeva had a habit of chewing the ends of her hair and eating strands she picked up off the carpet, according to Metro.

Bebezov said without the emergency procedure, Alekseeva would have died from extreme malnutrition and dehydration.

“It was actually the only alternative, nothing else would solve the problem,” he said. “In fact, her stomach was so badly swollen from hair and bits of wool from the carpet that it literally just oozed out soon as the wall of the stomach was cut.”

Alekseeva is reportedly recovering in Bishkek Hospital and has promised to stop chewing on her hair, Metro reported.

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