Live Eel Inserted In Bum As Cure For Constipation

This is the 15-inch eel doctors have pulled out of a middle-aged man’s gut after he inserted it still alive into his body through his anus and the wriggling creature tore a hole in his bowels.

The unnamed patient, in his 50s, told doctors who saved his life that he had inserted the eel into hos body in a bid to cure his constipation, but that the cure had not gone as planned.

He finally sought medical attention at Dongguan Huangjiang Hospital in China’s southern province of Guangdong after suffering from abdominal pain for a week.

The man had severe sepsis, leading to septic shock, and was unable to communicate coherently, head of general surgery, Li Jian, reported on 19th June.

Credit: AsiaWire / Huangjiang Hospital
The eel removed from the patient’s large intestine

Doctor Li said: “He came in with septic shock. During a CT scan, we suspected a foreign body in his abdominal cavity, but we couldn’t tell what it was.

“Then while performing a colonoscopy, we discovered it was an Asian swamp eel (Monopterus albus). It had entered his abdominal cavity.”

The patient then had an emergency operation to have the eel removed from his gut, with doctors opening up his abdomen and discovering it filled with waste matter including excrement and pus from his severe infection.

A hospital image shows the 40-centimetre (15-inch) freshwater fish having been removed intact during the procedure.

Doctor Li recalled: “It was already dead, but it caused severe bacterial contamination in his abdomen due to a build-up of faeces and pus.”

Credit: AsiaWire
Two eels being removed from the abdominal cavity of a male patient at Jiangsu Provincial Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine

Excrement had leaked into the patient’s body due to a rupture in his sigmoid colon, also known as the pelvic colon, which is the section of the large intestine nearest to the rectum and anus, the medic noted.

Doctor Li added: “It was only after surgery, when we were enquiring after his medical history, that he told us he used the eel to cure his constipation.

“He inserted it up his anus into his rectum. I suspect it was then that the perforation in his sigmoid colon occurred.

“Because he had inserted a live eel into himself, the chances of him dying were quite high had he not had surgery in time.”

Doctor Li called the constipation cure a “folk remedy”, and has warned members of the public against it.

The patient, who has since been discharged, had purchased the common freshwater eel from a wet market, the hospital said.

This January, a male patient in Nanjing, capital of Jiangsu Province in East China, had two Asian swamp eels removed from his abdomen after he swallowed them whole, believing they would relieve his constipation symptoms.

Credit: AsiaWire/ Jiangsu TCM Hospital
One of the swamp eel’s heads inside the patient’s abdominal cavity

But the fish tore through his intestines and also left the patient in the same life-threatening condition.

Earlier this month, Zhaoqing First People’s Hospital in Guangdong admitted a 30-year-old patient who had a fish lodged in his rectum.

According to the public hospital, the patient claimed he accidentally sat on the animal.

To find out more about the author, editor or agency that supplied this story – please click below.
Story By: John FengSub-EditorMichael Leidig, Agency: Asia Wire Report

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