Dozens of ‘mini surgeons’, otherwise known as flesh-eating MAGGOTS, are proving a squirming success at Milton Keynes Hospital.
The common green bottle fly larvae were this week used to treat an 85-year-old patient, whose ulcerated leg had defied conventional medicine.
The result was a resounding success and the patient was said to be delighted.
Tissue viability specialist Karen Jones told the Citizen: “We prefer to call it larvae therapy rather than refer to maggots as some patients get squeamish.
“It’s a practice we use up to 20 times a year. We buy the sterile larvae from a company in Wales and they come in a little mesh bag, similar to a teabag.”
The larvae, each about the size of a grain of rice, feed on decaying flesh.
They are placed, still inside the mesh bag, on the wound for up to four days and covered with a dressing that is checked daily.
By the time they are removed they have fattened up to the size of a baked bean, said Karen.
“There is no doubt that larvae therapy can work and in many cases it can save the patient from having to undergo surgery to remove the infected flesh.
“It is a much safer option than surgery, particularly for an older person.”
Karen admitted that some patients do not relish the idea of having larvae put on their wound.
“We would never force the issue. It is entirely up to the individual,” she said.
The latest patient described his therapy as a “fascinating” experience and has thanked the doctors.
Said Karen: “We call the larvae our miniature surgeons!
“With all the modern technology around it is amazing that we can get these results using larvae that comes from an ordinary fly.”