An Indian doctor has pulled a 5 inch long live worm from an elderly man’s eye after he complained of persistent pain, undertaking an operation reminiscent of a far-fetched alien movie.
Yahoo News reports that Dr. V. Seetharaman examined his patient, 75-year-old P.K. Krishnamurthy at Mumbai’s Fortis Hospital last week, and was shocked by the sight that greeted him–a 13 centimeter long parasite writhing inside the man’s eye.
He promptly prepared Krishnamurthy for surgery to remove the parasite before it could cause serious damage. Seetharman stated afterwards that:
“It was wriggling there under the conjunctiva. It was the first time in my career of 30 years that I had seen such a case.”
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the doctor stated:
“If the worm was not removed it could have gone into the layers of the eye and caused visual loss,” he said. “It could have entered the brain and caused major neurological problems.”
Seetharaman told the AFP that his patient was “very much disturbed,” and that the worm’s size was most likely a record, as he had only seen parasitic worms an inch long at most, never 5 inches. Yahoo News reports that the eye specialist removed the parasite in a 15-minute operation, making a small incision in the conjunctiva (the thin membrane around the eye) while Saraswati, the patient’s wife, looked on in horror.
She later told reporters that, “It just kept moving and jumping; it was scary for a bit.”
The 5 inch long parasitic worm was alive for 30 minutes following the surgery, and was sent to the hospital’s microbiologists for identification.