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A fully-intact fly was found inside a man's colon during a routine colonoscopy

A black fly
By Eve Livesey
  • Doctors found a fly in the colon of a 63-year-old man during a routine colonoscopy.

  • They suspect the fly was swallowed, and were shocked to find it fully intact.

  • Although it's rare, this isn't the first time an insect was found during a colonoscopy.

A fly found in a man's colon during a colonoscopy caused a buzz amongst his gastroenterologists.

This past summer, a 63-year-old unnamed man went in for a routine colonoscopy. As a doctor fished a camera through the man's colon, he was shocked to discover a fully intact (but dead) fly in the middle of the man's colon. The case report was published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology in October.

"I've been doing this for over 20 years, so I've seen a lot of things," Dr. Matthew Bechtold, a gastroenterologist at University of Missouri Health Care and one of the doctors who performed the procedure, told Business Insider. But "having such an intact fly like this is just unheard of."

The man may have eaten the fly days before

Doctors aren't sure how the fly ended up in the colon, but suspect the bug was eaten two days before the procedure when the man had a meal of pizza and lettuce — though the patient didn't remember a fly in his food.

The insect was found in the transverse colon — part of the colon situated below the liver that travels right to left.

What's remarkable, Bechtold said, is that the fly wasn't digested and that it didn't get flushed out during bowel prep for the colonoscopy, which involves consuming only clear liquids and taking laxatives a day before the procedure.

"It was the first time I've seen this big of an insect and this much intact of an insect," Bechtold said.

When doctors showed the patient pictures of the fly in his colon after the procedure, "He's like, huh, I must have eaten a fly," Bechtold said.

Other insects have been found during colonoscopies

Four years ago, gastroenterologists found a dead ladybug in the colon of a 59-year-old man during a colonoscopy, also in the transverse colon.

But don't get too worried.

It's "very very rare," to find an insect during a colonoscopy, said Bechtold. Out of more than 30,000 colonoscopies Bechtold has estimated that he has performed, this is the only time he's ever encountered an insect.

Read the original article on Business Insider