Doctors at Government Stanley Hospital on Wednesday removed a live cockroach from the nose of a 42-year-old woman.

After leading the tricky procedure that lasted for almost an hour, Prof MN Shankar, head of the ENT department at the hospital said that this was the first case he has seen in his three decades of practice.

“This is the first such case I have seen in my three decades of practice”, said Prof M. N. Shankar, head of the ENT department at the hospital after leading the tricky procedure that lasted under an hour and involved using clamps and sucker.

Selvi, a resident of Injambakkam, on Tuesday woke up to an itchy sensation in her nasal cavity. At first, she thought it was because of cold. But after severe pain, she was taken to a private clinic by her son-in-law where doctors suspected a nasal growth. They referred her to another hospital.

After brief examination, the doctors told her that the discomfort was due to a foreign body that seemed to be mobile and asked her for a scan.

Selvi started developing breathing problems and was finally referred to Stanley Hospital. After being attended by a team of doctors, it was concluded that a full grown cockroach had got stuck in the nasal cavity of Selvi.

For more than 11 hours, the cockroach remained inside the woman’s nose. It had gone right into the nose, parked between the nasal cavity and the brain.

“We tried to use a vacuum suction to suck out the insect but that was not possible due to its large size and the difficult place it was sitting in. We then used nasal endoscopy and another aseptic technique, drag it to a place from where I could pull it out finally after about 45 minutes”, said the ENT professor. Stanley dean Dr Ponnambala Namasivayam said the cockroach had gone right into the nose and unable to push up further, parked itself between the nose and the brain. “If it had managed to push further up, it could create holes in the brain”, he said.