Unusual: a fly discovered intact in a patient’s colon

Unusual: a fly discovered intact in a patient's colon

This is a very strange clinical case! American doctors found a fly completely intact and undigested in the colon of a patient. But how is this possible? We asked our expert.

Surprise during a medical exam! Doctors report having made an unusual discovery: a perfectly preserved fly was nestled in the colon of a patient. A fact that seems to be magical (or horror, depending): how could this fly get there without being digested?

A fly flushed out by a colonoscopy

To find out a little more, you need to look at the context of the discovery. The 63-year-old patient, who had a history of heart problems, asthma and tinnitus, presented for a colonoscopy. He had thus prepared his intestines for the procedure, which amounts to taking a laxative treatment before the examination, for a clearer result.

During the examination, doctors found five polyps, hemorrhoids but also a gray fly, whole and intact in the transverse colon of the sixty-year-old. This one was suspended and perfectly preserved.

Intact fly found in patient's colon

“The patient didn’t know how the fly got into his colon. He had only consumed clear liquids the day before the procedure. He said he ate pizza and lettuce for dinner two days before the procedure, but did not remember seeing a fly in his food. explains the team in its report.

A “not so rare” fact for our expert

Still in this same report, doctors are surprised that the fly is intact, because the colon is the final portion of the digestive tract. According to them, the insect should have been crushed and digested well before. They also raise the frightening hypothesis of the ingestion of a larva which would have evolved into a fly… in the patient’s body.

A theory that Dr. Pauline Guillouche, a hepato-gastroenterologist contacted on the subject, brushes aside. According to her, the answer is much simpler:

“Personally, this discovery did not surprise me at all. We find lots of surprising things during a colonoscopy!”

And the combination of circumstances seems rather simple to him: “What happens is that before a colonoscopy, patients take a laxative purge the day before and the morning of the exam, which speeds up transit, especially since we only drink that and we don’t eat. This person must have simply swallowed a fly, perhaps even while sleeping. Due to the accelerated transit at that time, the insect was able to reach the colon, without even having had time to be digested in the stomach or the small intestine. unfolds from experience.

Ultimately, this is perhaps the most surprising thing in this story: “And yes, if you didn’t know, we all swallow insects while sleeping.” confirms Pauline Guillouche. An ingredient that you probably hadn’t expected on the menu.