Surgeons have removed an enormous hairball from a woman's stomach.

Hair (file picture)

Hair (file picture)

The 38-year-old woman was struggling to keep her food down for almost a year and unbeknownst to her the reason why her food wouldn't digest was due to a large hairball that was causing a blockage in her stomach.

Surgeons remove the hair clump, plus a smaller 4cm hairball in her large intestine along with an extra 'tail' which had wrapped itself round her small intestine, according to the British Medical Journal.

It was only when surgeons operated on her that the woman realised she was suffering from a condition called Rapunzel syndrome - which gives sufferers the irresistible urge to pull out their hair and compulsively eat it.

Among her other symptoms was constipation and a massive bloated stomach full of accumulating gas and fluids.

She lost 15 pounds in weight over eight months as a result of a loss of appetite.