Surgeons in China saved the life of a young man whose abdomen was so distended, it looked like it was about to burst anytime.
Chinese media reported the 22-year-old patient named Zhou Hai was suffering from severe abdominal pain and was struggling to breathe when he visited a hospital in Shanghai last week.
A CT scan showed that there was a lot of faeces stored in his colon.
Zhou told doctors that he had been suffering from constipation since he was born. He took laxatives regularly but they only helped to alleviate his discomfort.
His parents thought that his condition was a small ailment, so it remained untreated for years. It eventually deteriorated until he required emergency treatment.
In a three-hour operation, surgeons removed a section of Zhou's colon that was 76cm long and weighed 13kg.
He was later diagnosed with Hirschsprung's disease, a birth defect that causes a blockage in the large intestine.
The missing nerve cells in the colon prevent it from contracting normally, making it unable to push waste matter through the large intestine. This causes chronic constipation and often leads to the development of a megacolon if left untreated.