Man Goes to Hospital With Bellyache, Doctors Find 6-Foot-Long Tapeworm in His Gut (Photos)


Warning: This story is not for the easily grossed-out…

According to a report published in The New England Journal of Medicine yesterday, doctors in India explored a man’s gut and found a creature that looks like it came straight out of a science fiction movie.

The 48-year-old man had abdominal pain and lethargy for about two months before he decided to seek medical care.

The doctors performed a colonoscopy and found a segment of a pork tapeworm in the man’s colon, which is a common sign that (eek!) a larger tapeworm is hiding somewhere in the body.

Next, the doctors performed an endoscopy, which means they inserted a camera into the man’s stomach and the upper part of his small intestine, and explored the upper part of the man’s digestive system.

They were surprised by what they found…a whole worm curled up in the upper part of the man’s small intestine.

The tapeworm, which goes by the scientific name Taenia solium, was 6 feet long. Dr. Cyriac Philips, a liver specialist at PVS Memorial Hospital in India who treated the man, said it was the longest he had ever seen, reports Live Science.

Finding out you have a massive worm hanging out in your gut is alarming enough, but the method of removal is extra-cringeworthy: the doctors removed the worm by pulling it out of the poor man’s mouth (he was sedated during the 1.5 hour procedure, thank goodness).

Photos of the worm and of the doctors pulling it out the man’s mouth are at the end of this article. You have been warned.

Doctors gave the man anti-parasitic medication to kill any remaining tapeworms.

People can become infected with tapeworms if they ingest the eggs which are found in raw or under cooked pork, according to the National Library of Medicine.

The eggs of the tapeworm can form cysts throughout the body, even the brain, and when hatched can grow to be longer than 11 feet, Live Science reports. Most people do not have symptoms, but some can experience abdominal pain.

Icky image warning…

Image credit: The New England Journal of Medicine

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Lily Dane is a staff writer for The Daily Sheeple. Her goal is to help people to “Wake the Flock Up!”