Doctors surgically removed the eel from the man's stomach
The man told stunned medics in the Guangzhou, southern China, he heard about the bizarre folk remedy on the streets where he was told his condition could be effectively relieved or even cured by using the slippery fish as a living suppository.
The Guangzhou Daily reported the patient was rushed into hospital when the live eel began to wreak havoc on his intestines after he followed the advice and inserted it.
Eels are widely available in the markets of Guangzhou
Eels have pointed jaws, sharp teeth and a slender body that moves in waves, allowing them to burrow efficiently through sand, mud and pebbles.
The eel used by the desperate constipation sufferer was said to have a head as large as a ping-pong ball.
The slippery fish like to burrow into mud and pebbles
One of the doctors who treated him said when he arrived at the hospital his stomach was inflated like an air balloon, causing sharp pain.
In surgery they found the animal had broken through the intestines and generated “a mess” in the man’s abdominal cavity, “almost killing him”.
Eels are a common fish in southern China and are widely available in many local markets.
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Guangzhou is sprawling Chinese port city to the north of Hong Kong
In 2013, another man in Guangdong province was admitted to hospital after using an eel for sexual pleasure.
Earlier this year, a woman was reportedly hospitalised for the same reason.