According to a report published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine, Doctors in India were stunned to remove a tapeworm measuring more than 6 feet through a patient’s mouth. Dr. Cyriac Phillips wrote in an email that the 48-year-old man underwent a colonoscopy in 2014 after complaints of “tolerable” abdominal pain that had gone on for two months and test results indicating low hemoglobin concentrations in his blood.
While performing the colonoscopy, Phillips discovered part of the worm. “It was an undulating, moving piece of the worm, ” he said. After the initial discovery, doctors performed an endoscopy, a procedure using a camera inserted into the patient’s stomach to view the intestines.
During the procedure, Phillips and his team were able to see images of the lengthy parasite residing in the small intestine. After sedating the man, a team of physicians at the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences Hospital in New Delhi were able to extract the worm by pulling it through his mouth with a pair of forceps. When removed, the tapeworm measured 6.1 feet and was classified as a Taenia solium, otherwise known as a pork tapeworm.