Boba blockage: Girl, 14, had hundreds of undigested boba pearls stuck in stomach, reports say
ZHEJIANG PROVINCE, China - A 14-year-old girl from China suffered an abdominal blockage and had hundreds of undigested boba pearls stuck in her stomach after enduring five days of constipation, according to Chinese media reports.
The girl, from Zhejiang Province, also faced stomach pains and had no appetite before her parents took her to the hospital for emergency treatment on May 28, EBC Dongsen News and AsiaOne reported.
When the doctor noticed her belly was bulging, he conducted a computerized tomography scan of her abdomen. The scan showed at least 100 “granular shadows” from the ascending colon, descending colon and sigmoid colon all the way down to the anus, according to EBC Dongsen News.
Doctors deduced that those “unusual spherical shadows” were about 100 undigested boba or tapioca pearls, AsiaOne reported.
The girl was initially reluctant to reveal what she had consumed, then later insisted that she only had a boba drink five days prior to the hospital visit, the reports said.
But Dr. Zhang Louzhen, who treated the patient, said it would have taken ingesting a significant amount of pearls for an extended period of time for her condition to be this severe, according to AsiaOne.
He suspected that she was hiding her real amount of boba consumption for fear of telling her parents, AsiaOne reported.
The doctor prescribed a laxative for her to discharge the undigested pearls, according to the news outlets.
The director of the emergency department of Zhuji People's Hospital said that the pearls are made of tapioca starch, which is not easy to digest, EBC Dongsen News reported. To enhance the taste, the stores might add additives such as thickeners, which could result in gastrointestinal disorders, the report said.
This story was reported from Los Angeles.