Larva Therapy Makes a Comeback: MD Podiatrist

Dan Michaels, DPM faced a predicament. He had a patient with an open wound that he needed to clean to remove dead tissue that could prevent proper healing, or worse. Infection could lead to severe pain and require limb amputation. But he didn’t have access to an operating room. Left with few other choices, he turned to an unexpected surgical assistant: maggots. 
While this scene might seem like one that unfolded on the front lines of the U.S. Civil War or in a remote field hospital, Armstrong is actually a present-day surgeon. He is one of many clinicians turning to medical maggots as a tool for treating challenging wounds. The critters he uses, an early larval stage of a fly called Lucilia sericata, have an insatiable appetite for dead tissue and can claw their way through a wound, cleaning it with precision that even the most dexterous surgeon might envy. “It would be the height of hubris to think somehow we should discard something that has been around for a long time that is quite helpful,” Michaels said.