Maggot therapy has many names including larva therapy, maggot debridement therapy, and biosurgery. It is a type of biotherapy that involves introduction live, disinfected maggots into non-healing skin and soft tissue wounds of a human or animal for the purpose of cleaning out the necrotic, or dead, tissue within a wound and disinfection. It was thought that maggots selectively eat necrotic tissue, but a new study done in France proved that non selectivity of maggot action as wound surface increased over treatment.
In 1995 a handful of doctors in four countries were using maggot therapy. Today, any physician in the US can prescribe maggot therapy and over 800 facilities in the US have actually utilized the therapy technique. It is regulated and it is possible to use in veterinary practice, as well.
The maggots are contained in a cage-like dressing in the wound for two days. In that time they eat out the dead tissue moving freely throughout the cage. They can’t reproduce while in the wound, because they are still in the larval stage.