A doctor in India pulled a live 13 centimeter worm from the eye of a patient who was complaining of consistent pain.
When Dr V. Seetharaman examined 75-year-old patient P.K. Krishnamurthy at Mumbai's Fortis Hospital this week, the eye expert was shocked by the highly unusual sight of the parasite and had to operate fast to remove it before serious damage would occur.
"It was wriggling there under the conjunctiva," Seetharaman told AFP, referring to the thin membrane lining the eye. "It was the first time in my career of 30 years that I had seen such a case."
Krishnamurthy had been suffering for more than two weeks with redness and irritation before the doctor pin-pointed the threadlike creature under a microscope on Wednesday.
"He was also confused and very much disturbed," said Seetharaman.
The specialist removed the 13-centimetre (five-inch) worm by making a small opening in the conjunctiva -- a 15-minute operation that was observed by the patient's horrified wife, Saraswati.
"It just kept moving and jumping; it was scary for a bit," she told the Mumbai Mirror.
The patient was relieved of his symptoms while the worm, which was alive for another 30 minutes after surgery, was sent to the hospital's microbiologists to be identified.
Seetharaman had previously only heard of worms of about two to three centimetres being removed. "Probably this is a record," he said.
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