Doctors removed a 7ft-long parasite from a patient’s stomach after he was taken to hospital with severe stomach ache.
The pensioner, 79, was rushed to the emergency room after being found bent double with stabbing pains in his abdomen in Bueng Kan province, Thailand, on February 3.
The man had a history of gall stones as he was an ‘adventurous eater’ so the doctors thought they had to operate on him to remove it.
However, after an endoscopy procedure to locate the stones, they found an extremely long tape worm living inside his stomach.
The parasite had been feeding inside his organ and tearing on his stomach muscle, which had caused the unbearable pain.
Doctors performed emergency surgery by pulling out the massive tapeworm, that was as thick as a strand of Linguine spaghetti.
They were careful not to tear the tapeworm as it could have started to reproduce if it was cut into two.
The parasite was successfully removed from his stomach and is now in stable condition but he will have to be monitored in the hospital for at least a week.
Speaking after the operation, the man’s daughter said the old man enjoyed eating raw beef and fish, which medics believe was responsible for the parasite growing.
She said: ‘My father has liked to eat chopped raw beef and raw fish ever since he was young. The tapeworm may have come from that food.’
Doctor Kamol Saepeung, who was part of the medical team who removed the parasite, reminded people to make sure their food is clean.
He said: ‘People should avoid eating raw meat and make sure that all their fruits and vegetables are cleaned before serving. Food should be thoroughly cooked as much as possible to avoid parasites.’