25 Most Disgusting Medical Treatments You Won’t Believe

Posted by , Updated on May 23, 2024

No one wants their medical treatments to be invasive, painful, or disgusting. Make it quick and easy, and we’re happy as clams. Unfortunately, not all illnesses play nice. In order to treat them, people may have to resort to drastic and disgusting measures. From surgery to a basic pill, people have come up with some nasty ways to treat patients. Think your stomach is ready for this list? We sure hope so! Here are 25 Most Disgusting Medical Treatments You Won’t Believe.


Acute Subdural Hematoma

SubduralandherniationSource: http://sploid.gizmodo.com/this-is-probably-the-most-disgusting-yet-most-satisfyin-1657753249

Acute Subdural Hematoma is one of the deadliest head injuries around. The only way to save your life is one of the most disgusting treatments imaginable. Doctors have to cut open your skull to access the brain and slowly remove the clogged blood. It’s not a pretty sight.


Maggot Therapy

maggotsSource: https://www.livescience.com/17554-maggots-clean-wounds-faster-surgeons.html

In 2004, the FDA approved the medical use of maggots on unhealed wounds. Studies showed that putting maggots on wounds that won’t heal will help the healing process. Why? because the maggots eat the dead tissue but leave the healthy tissue alone.


Natural Orifice Surgery

surgerySource: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2966194/

Rather than cutting you open from the outside to do a surgery, natural orifice surgery goes through the anus, mouth, urethra, or another orifice; then doctors make an incision inside the stomach. This form of treatment is still experimental and under debate in the medical community, but advances in removing certain cancers make it an attractive method of treatment.


Grafting Hand to Leg


If for some horrific reason you sawed off your hand, there’s always the possibility doctors won’t be able to just reattach it. The tissues and nerves in your arm could be greatly damaged. However, the clock is ticking, and your hand is dying. So, what do doctors do? They attach it to your leg. Doctors in China specifically did this procedure to save the man’s hand before reattaching it to his arm. It’s great they can do this, but let’s be honest, that’s pretty disgusting.


Poop Pills

poop pillsSource: http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2014/10/11/355126926/frozen-poop-pills-fight-life-threatening-infections

People who suffer from antibiotic resistant Clostridium difficile (c.diff) can get debilitating diarrhea. In order to destroy the bacteria, doctors have developed frozen poop pills. Yup, you eat poop in order to cure your disease.


Moldy Bread

Moldy_old_breadSource: https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg14519703-300-mouldy-dressings-help-wounds-to-heal/

Though we don’t recommend doing this at home, recent studies have shown Phycomyces blakesleeanus, a common mold found on bread, could help fight infection on wounds and help them heal. Researchers are trying to find ways to use this to our advantage by making them into surgical dressings.


Grow Fingertips on Stomach

fingersSource: http://gizmodo.com/5860111/man-grows-new-fingertip-on-his-stomach-warning-super-gross

If you lose one of your fingertips in an accident, it’s unlikely to grow back on its own, and you’ll be called stumpy for the rest of your days. A man in China faced this very dilemma when his doctor suggested they attach his finger to his stomach. By increasing blood flow to the area with the stomach skin around it, doctors hoped it would grow back. Sure enough, it worked.


Toe as a Thumb

big toeSource: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-40577567

If you had to choose between having a thumb or a big toe, which would you choose? That was the unfortunate choice an Australian cattle worker had to make when he lost his thumb in an accident. When they couldn’t reattach his thumb, he was told they could give him a new thumb from his big toe. Doctors said a hand without a thumb is more useless than a foot without a big toe.


Ancient Potion to Cure MRSA

MRSASource: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/revolting-recipe-from-the-dark-ages-may-be-key-to-defeat-mrsa-10144616.html

An old Anglo-Saxon recipe including wine, garlic, and cow stomach bile has been shown to be more effective than modern day medicines to treat MRSA. But, did we mention the cow bile?


Breast Milk

breast milkSource: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1268987/Cancer-arthritis-diabetes-acne--breast-milk-new-wonder-cure.html

Swedish researchers discovered bladder tumors were reduced in just five days after patients were given a breast milk compound. They also believe it could have potential uses for acne, diabetes, and Parkinson’s.


Hookworm Therapy

hookwormSource: http://www.healthline.com/health/crohns-disease/hook-worms#2

If you have debilitating diseases like Crohn’s diseases, multiple sclerosis, asthma, or inflammatory bowel disease, utilizing helminthic therapy might be an option. However, it might gross you out to know that you’re essentially going to have to drink the eggs of hookworms, whipworms, or ascaris. Only thing is, if you’re in the United States, the FDA hasn’t approved the treatment.


Intravitreal Injection

eyeSource: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/007629.htm

Intravitreal Injection is not for the faint of heart. After numbing the eye, a doctor takes a needle and inserts it, injecting medicine near the retina in the back of the eye. This treatment helps cure and protect your eye from certain diseases.


Fecal Transplant

gut floraSource: http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/gastroenterology_hepatology/clinical_services/advanced_endoscopy/fecal_transplantation.html

Another way to combat c.diff, doctors used fecal transplants to help keep healthy bacteria in the gut. However, it’s a rather unpleasant procedure of transplanting the poop through a colonoscopy. Most of us are glad to hear that it’s uncommonly performed.


Pregnant Horse Urine

Curly-horseSource: http://www.snopes.com/medical/drugs/premarin.asp

In order to help lessen the symptoms of menopause in women, doctors have prescribed a drug called Premarin. What is Premarin made of? You guessed it. Pregnant horse urine.


Tooth in Eye Surgery

tooth in eyeSource: http://abcnews.go.com/Health/Technology/woman-regains-vision-tooth-implanted-eye/story?id=8595589

In certain rare cases of blindness, doctors use a procedure they call modified osteo-odonto-keratoprosthesis, otherwise known as Tooth in Eye Surgery. We kid you not, the doctors take a piece of the patient’s tooth, insert the tooth in their cheek for a few weeks, and then place that tooth inside their eye. And yes, it works. However, doctors in the US try to use less invasive techniques whenever possible.


Fish Psoriasis Treatments

doctor fishSource: http://www.express.co.uk/life-style/health/170261/Flesh-eating-fish-can-help-cure-problem-skin

People with skin ailments such as eczema and psoriasis claim that putting their skin into water full of flesh eating fish, called Garra rufa, helps cure their disease. However, doctors have stated there is no scientific backing for the practice.


Leech Therapy

leechSource: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3757849/

Leech therapy has been a medical treatment since Ancient Egypt and was used for a wide variety of illnesses. While today it is a controversial medical treatment, it’s still being used for heart disease, cancer, cosmetics, diabetes, and microsurgeries.


Heterotopic Heart Transplantation

heartSource: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-4573920/Man-TWO-hearts-beating-chest-time.html

One heart is usually enough for one person, but for one particular patient, he needed two to survive. He was suffering from heart failure, and his lungs wouldn’t support a heart transplant surgery. The solution? His doctors transplanted a second heart into his chest! This procedure is known as Heterotopic Heart Transplantation.


Ant Mandible Sutures

ant suturesSource: http://ideas.ted.com/a-history-of-biomaterials/

Today, doctors mostly use stitches or even glue to mend a large gaping wound. However, in ancient India and South Africa, they’d use biting ants. Once the wound was pulled back together, the biting ant would bite down hard, keeping the flesh in one place.


Jawbone on Back

jawboneSource: http://www.nbcnews.com/id/5832265/ns/health-cloning_and_stem_cells/t/new-jaw-bone-grown-mans-back-muscle/

A man who lost his jaw due to cancer went under an ambitious, and frankly kind of disgusting, procedure to get his jaw back. Doctors grew the jaw back, well, in the man’s back. Using a mesh cage, a growth chemical, bone marrow, and stem cells, the doctors were able to regrow his jaw.


Urine Therapy

Urine_sampleSource: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3196259/Welcome-China-Urine-Therapy-Association-hilarious-encounter-leader-club-drinks-wee-single-day-claiming-cures-tumours-broken-bones-baldness.html

Okay, right off the bat, let’s be clear that Urine Therapy has zero scientific backing whatsoever. However, with that said, there are people out there in alternative medicine who claim drinking their urine has medicinal benefits, such as curing tumors, broken bones, and even baldness.



Blood_lettingSource: http://www.history.com/news/history-lists/7-unusual-ancient-medical-techniques

Bloodletting was a popular medical treatment in the past and in most cases is the worst thing you could do. However, some in alternative medicine still use “controlled bloodletting” to treat rare illnesses.



grimaceSource: https://www.wired.com/2015/04/visualdx/

This isn’t so much a treatment as a tool that can lead to a treatment. Helping doctors better diagnosis illnesses, VisualDX shows pictures of diseases as the most likely based on the symptoms given. The disgusting part is the grid of nasty illnesses that pop on the screen.


Frog Smoothies

frog smoothieSource: http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2015/11/03/453209649/in-peru-folk-remedies-like-frog-smoothies-are-comfort-food

People in Peru make all kinds of weird “medicinal” treatments to help cure various ailments and that includes frog smoothies. Taking a full frog and some fruit, they blend together a rather disgusting drink for people who believe it’ll help cure them of their diseases. They claim it can help infertility to ulcers. Of course, there’s zero science to back this up.


Swallowing Fish

small fishSource: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/india/10889541/Indians-swallow-live-fish-for-asthma-treatment.html

In order to cure their asthma, some people in India will swallow a whole fish. Those who administer the treatment claim it clears the throat as it goes down and can help other respiratory diseases as well. After swallowing the fish, the patients are told to go on a strict 45-day diet. Doctors have complained the treatment is unscientific, a violation of human rights, and unhygienic.

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