Yes, this is just as bad as it sounds.
Have you ever eaten so much that you felt like you’re about to explode? How about that feeling like you just have to go number 2 but can’t no matter what?
Well, if you combine them both and multiply it by 90, then you might understand how this young man felt.
The 22-year-old, from Shanghai, China, who remains unnamed, suffered from constipation for years. He used laxatives and constipation medicine to ease the burden, but nothing ever cleared the blockage occurring down there, in his bowels.
There was obviously some kind of buildup occurring, as his gut enlarged to the point where he looked heavily pregnant. When the pain became too much to bear, though, the young man went to the 10th People’s Hospital in Shanghai to get it looked at and hopefully take out whatever was lodged inside him.
Led by surgeon Dr. Yin Lu, a medical team opened him up to discover a massive section of intestine that was blown up like a balloon, filled with … err … number two. It hadn’t been able to pass and had accumulated and hardened over years. During the course of that time, the intestinal tissue had stretched to a massive size.
What does it look like? Behold:
— Daily Mirror (@DailyMirror) June 9, 2017
Dr. Lu said that it “looked like [it] could explode at any time.”
Had the massive balloon of poo in his belly really exploded, it would have been catastrophic. He’s seriously lucky that it didn’t.
In a procedure that took three hours, the surgeons removed the enlarged section of intestine and its contents before sewing both ends of the intestinal tract back together again.
The burden that was unloaded from the man’s innards stretched a full 30 inches in length and weighed a colossal 30 pounds (approx. 14 kg). Just imagine walking around with an extra 30 pounds of stool and intestine.
Now imagine the relief he must have felt afterward! You know that feeling after you’ve just gone? Well, multiply that by … never mind.
Thankfully, the young man is expected to make a full recovery.
So, the big question is what on earth could have caused this incredible buildup? The answer is just as bad you might imagine.
Doctors believe the young man suffered from a condition called Hirschsprung’s disease. That’s a highly unfortunate condition where the nerves responsible for the conveyance of stool in the intestine are missing. Thus, the waste matter is not pushed along and becomes a blockage instead.
This makes matters worse when the matter gets compacted into a hard substance that can remain lodged in place for years. Laxatives and liquids can help, but they tend to cause flows around the dense substance.
Hirschsprung’s is typically noted in babies soon after birth or as late as 1 or 2 years old, and all require surgery. It can cause severe constipation or even lead to a serious bacterial infection called enterocolitis—which is most likely just as awful as it sounds.
Well, we warned you.