A new study has revealed that maggots can do a better job than surgeons at removing dead tissue from wounds.
A Perth conference has heard the year-long Tasmanian study used sterile maggots on patients with leg ulcers.
Many of the patients had diseases such as diabetes, which made surgery dangerous.
One of the authors of the study, Dr Alvin Cham, says maggots can clean slow-healing wounds more accurately than surgeons.
“All we can see is what the naked eyes can see, so we just take away whatever we think is unhealthy,” he said.
“We might under-remove or over-remove but maggots, all they do is just clean up dead tissue.”
Dr Cham says using maggots allows patients to avoid surgery.
“The patients that we see with leg ulcers and chronic wounds, they’re generally unwell, diabetic, and have circulation problems affecting not only their leg, but their heart,” he said.
“If you reduce the incidence of going to surgery and have general anaesthetic, then they have a protective effect… less risk factors.”