How a Kentucky physician uses maggots to treat patients

Alyssa Rege -

A Louisville, Ky.-based Norton Healthcare physician is adding maggots to her arsenal of medical practices to help patients manage wounds that don't seem to heal, according to WDRB.com.

The use of maggots to speed up a patient's healing process dates back as early as the Civil War era, according to Jae Jung, MD. Despite the practice gaining FDA approval almost 15 years ago, Dr. Jung said she was reluctant to try the treatment at first.

"I nearly lost my lunch and I thought this is not something I'd be willing to do myself," she told WDRB.com.

Dr. Jung said she recently used the treatment on a patient with a diabetic foot ulcer who was previously forced to amputate a toe because of the condition. Dr. Jung said she wrapped maggots around the patient's wound to keep them in place and removed the creatures three days later.

"After the first treatment she came in and her pain was better. She was off pain medicine," she said.

With medical costs in the U.S. continuing to rise, Dr. Jung argues maggots may present a cost-effective option for patients.

"When you look at the wound care products that are out there, there are so many and they're increasingly getting more expensive and maggots really do the best job," she told WRDB.com.

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