On January 27th, a team of Indian doctors came face to face with a six-feet-long tapeworm. According to the report which was published following the procedure in the New England Journal of Medicine, the surgeons removed the parasite through the patient’s mouth.
One of the doctors revealed that the 48-year-old patient reported tolerable abdominal pains that had been eating away at his him for approximately two months back in 2014. Upon performing a colonoscopy, the medical team was able to observe only a portion of the tapeworm. Furthermore, test results indicated abnormally low levels of hemoglobin in the patient’s blood. Hence, the doctors concurred they had a case of tapeworm infestation on their hands.
Following the initial discovery, the team of doctors performed an endoscopy. The procedure used a camera which was inserted into the man’s stomach to offer a clear image of the intestines. It was at that point Dr. Cyriac Phillips and assisting doctors noticed for the second time, thus confirming the initial diagnosis, the six-feet-long tapeworm residing in the patient’s small intestine.
The man was sedated and New Delhi’s Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences Hospital team of doctors were able to extract the parasite through the 48-year-old patient’s mouth using a pair of forceps. According to the official report, the Taenia solium parasite measured no less than 6.1 feet. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials say that a mature specimen could measure anywhere between 6.5 to 23 feet in length. However, in some instances, doctors retrieved even 26-feet-long parasites from infected patients.
The doctors that performed the procedure say they had no prior knowledge of the tapeworm’s length until they managed to completely remove it. The report shows the doctors pulled the six-feet-long tapeworm slowly through the patient’s mouth for about one hour before the procedure was completed successfully. Dr. Cyriac Phillips said he never saw such a long specimen before.
The patient was allowed to return to his family shortly after the operations. The doctors prescribed him medication used to treat parasitic infections and advised him to share it with the rest of his family, as well. Ultimately, the physicians also provided the patient with guidelines on how to cook pork better in order to avoid future incidents of the kind, since they believe this was the source of the man’s infection.
Image Source: Wikipedia
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