At Rajavithi Hospital in the Thai capital Bangkok, a young woman who had been complaining of extreme earache for days has had a mini-lizard removed from her ear. The baby reptile, to be precise, a gecko had settled deep into her ear canal.
According to Varanya Nganthavee (25), the attending physician, she did not know what she saw when she looked into the patient’s ear with a special instrument. “Very deep in the warm, somewhat humid ear canal, a tiny specimen of the reptile species found in tropical countries writhed. When I saw that, of course, all the alarms went off,” the doctor writes on her Facebook page.
The woman, who had a lot of itching and pain, was subsequently given a local anesthetic, after which the doctor had to fiddle with tweezers for a long time to get the animal out. It worked but there was one problem: the tail of the living gecko was missing. “I only realized that later,” admits Nganthavee, who recently graduated.
She contacted the patient and asked the ENT doctor who guided her during her studies for help. “He looked again, but there was really no tail in it. Then the woman, who was relieved of her pain, could go home.”
The young doctor posted the find on Facebook because it rarely happens that geckos get into people’s ears and then stay there for a few days. “This is a unique case,” says Nganthavee. She suspects someone’s been playing a prank on the woman. “Presumably, while she was asleep, the gecko was put in her ear by some funny guy.”
Thai media, who capitalize on the remarkable find of the animal, have tried to contact the patient. Due to her professional secrecy, the doctor cannot say who the victim is. The woman herself has not yet reported. Nganthavee: “So it will probably always remain a mystery how the animal ended up in the ear.”