Doctor gets accolades for removing leech sans surgery

Dr Priyadarshan C P, the casualty medical officer who performed the removal

A doctor at a government hospital at Alappuzha district in Kerala is being showered with appreciations as he removed a hirudinaria leech from the urethra of a 25-year-old youth without any surgical preparations.

It was on November 1 afternoon that the youth was rushed to the casualty wing of the government general hospital at Alappuzha with severe pain in his genitals. Dr Priyadarshan C P, the casualty medical officer, examined and found a leech inside the urethra of the youth who was involved in canal cleaning work.

Dr Priyadarshan told DH that he had heard of cases of leeches entering female genital areas, but had not heard about leech entering the male genitals. Generally, such risky cases would be referred to a urologist. But the patient was crying with severe pain and hence Dr Priyadarshan, a general medicine doctor, made the attempt despite the high risk of the leech going into the bladder.

"The leech was slightly pulled out by inserting a sharp object after conveying the patient of the risk involved. No anesthesia was also given. The other end of the genital was pressed firmly so that the leech did not go further inside. Within five minutes, the leech could be removed. It was about 17-cm long and had enlarged after sucking the patient's blood. As soon as the leech was removed, the patient heaved a sigh of relief and hugged me," said Dr Priyadarshan.

Out of curiosity, the doctor took a picture of the leech and shared it with some other doctors on social media. "A couple of hours later, some senior doctors rang me up and appreciated me for taking the risky procedure. Usually, such procedures would have been done through endoscopy and private hospitals would have slapped hefty bills. Now many doctors wanted to know from me how I did the procedure, while many public want to know how the leech entered the male genital," said Dr Priyadarshan, who is a native of Alappuzha.

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