Doctors Remove Live Eel from Man’s Abdomen in Bizarre Medical Emergency

Vietnamese doctors recently saved a young man’s life by removing a live 30-cm-long eel from his abdomen, where it had caused intestinal perforations.

On March 20, a 34-year-old man was admitted to the Hai Ha District Medical Center in Quang Ninh Province, Vietnam, with severe abdominal cramps. Since the patient was in too much pain to be questioned about his symptoms, the hospital staff conducted an X-ray and an ultrasound which revealed a foreign body in his abdomen, as well as intestinal perforation and peritonitis. Doctors decided that the best course of action was to conduct surgery, remove the suspicious object, and try to mitigate the damage to the man’s intestines. Upon opening up the patient’s abdomen, doctors were surprised to find that the foreign object was a 30 cm live eel.

After removing the eel, doctors proceeded to remove the necrotic colorectal segment of the intestines, a delicate procedure with a high potential for infection due to the proximity to the rectal area. Luckily, the operation was a success and the patient was stabilized. He reported only mild abdominal discomfort after the procedure, but he is still under observation at the hospital.

Asked how the large eel could have wound up in his abdomen, the 34-year-old man could not provide a clear answer, but doctors believe that the slippery animal crawled from the anus to the patient’s colon, bit through the intestine, and entered the abdomen. But what truly shocked the hospital staff was that the eel was still alive inside the man’s body.

This bizarre case and the photo of the eel being removed from the patient’s abdomen are eerily reminiscent of a xenomorph bursting out of a human host’s stomach in an Alien movie.

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