The following images, provided by Fortis Hospital in Mumbai, India, show a surgery in which a 12.5 centimeter worm was removed from a patient's eye.
The images are graphic in nature, please proceed with caution.
Doctors at Fortis Hospital in Mumbai have confirmed that they removed a live worm from the eye of a 75-year-old patient who complained of pain. PK Krishnamurthy felt "itching and irritation" in his right eye, BBC News reported, and when doctors examined him they found the cause was a worm.
The case was "extremely unusual" and the man was lucky the worm didn't reach his brain, the hospital's medical director, Dr. S. Narayani, told the BBC.
"It was wriggling there under the conjunctiva," the man's physician, Dr. V. Seetharaman told AFP, referring to the eye's thin membrane. "It was the first time in my career of 30 years that I had seen such a case."
According to AFP, the man had been experiencing redness and irritation for two weeks before the doctor saw the thread-like creature under a microscope.
It is not clear how the worm entered the man's body.
"Such cases are not unknown but they are unusual for their rarity," Dr. Narayani told the BBC. "Somehow the worm gets into the bloodstream and grows inside the human body," Dr Narayani said. Doctors initially gave the 75-year-old patient medicine but it not work.
According to AFP, the 5-inch worm was removed in a 15-minute operation in which a small opening was made in the conjunctiva. Seetharaman had previously only heard of worms of about two to three centimeters being removed, not 13. "Probably this is a record," he said.
The patient's wife watched the worm removal procedure, reports the Mumbai Mirror, and was horrified to see the live worm pulled out of her husband.
"It just kept moving and jumping," she said. "It was scary for a bit."
Krishnamurthy's wife thought the man may have contracted the worm from his gardening hobby, however doctors explained the worm likely grew in his intestine and traveled to his eye. The worm may have entered through a cut on the man's foot or from eating raw or improperly cooked food.
"If the worm was not removed it could have gone into the layers of the eye and caused visual loss," Seetharaman told AFP. "It could have entered the brain and caused major neurological problems."
Doctors initially gave the man eye medication to free the worm, but it did not work.
The worm remained alive for 30 minutes after surgery and was then analyzed by hospital microbiologists.
Here is an image provided by Fortis Hospital that shows a worm removed from a 75-year-old man's eye in what India doctors are calling a rare case.
The worm removed from 75-year-old PK Krishnamurthy's eye was 12.5 centimeters, or 5 inches in length.
Krishnamurthy is now symptom-free since the worm's removal. Krishnamurthy (right) is seen here with his wife (left) and Seetharaman (center).
Krishnamurthy's wife (right), who watched the operation, was troubled by the sight of the live worm being pulled from her husband's eye.
Dr Ragini Parekh, an eye surgeon at JJ Hospital in India, told the Mumbai Mirror that if the worm had not been removed, it could have died in Krishnamurthy's eye and caused a toxic reaction that would have resulted in vision loss. Krishnamurthy is seen here.