A group of doctors in India was shocked to remove a solitary one of about 1.80 meters by the mouth of a patient, according to a report published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine
Dr. Cyriac Phillips wrote in an e-mail that the 48-year-old man had a colonoscopy in 2014 after complaining of “tolerable” abdominal pain that had lasted for two months and results indicating low hemoglobin levels in the blood
While practicing the colonoscopy, Phillips discovered part of the solitary.
“It was an undulating, shifting part of the worm,” he said. “This segment of the worm was the confirmation that there was a solitary infestation in this patient”
After the initial discovery, doctors performed an endoscopy, a procedure in which a camera is inserted into the patient’s stomach to see the intestines. During the procedure, Phillips and his team were able to see images of the long parasite that lived in the small intestine.
After sedating the man, a team of doctors from the Hospital Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences in New Delhi was able to extract the worm by pulling it through the mouth with a pair of forceps.
After being extracted, the parasite measured 1.85 meters and was classified as a Taenia soleum, also known as solitary pork. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States, a solitary adult can measure between 2 and 7 meters, but there have been cases of solitary of more than 8 meters.