Appendix - a hollow 3.5 inch-long organ that hangs from the occum at the junction between the small intestine and the first part of the large intestine.

No Use In Humans

The appendix does not function in humans. It is an ancestral remnant from times when humans had to digest foods like grass and tree bark.


If food gets trapped in the appendix, an irritation of its membranes may occur leading to swelling and inflammation, a condition known as appendicitis. If the condition becomes serious, removal of the appendix is necessary to avoid a life-threatening condition if it were to rupture. People can live without it, without apparent consequences.

Left untreated, an inflamed appendix will eventually burst, or perforate, spilling infectious materials into the abdominal cavity. This can lead to peritonitis, a serious inflammation of the abdominal cavity's lining that can be fatal unless it is treated quickly with strong antibiotics.

Abscessed appendix

Sometimes a pus-filled abscess (infection that is walled off from the rest of the body) forms outside the inflamed appendix. Scar tissue then "walls off" the appendix from the rest of the abdomen, preventing infection from spreading. An abscessed appendix is a less urgent situation, but can only be identified with surgery. For this reason, all cases of appendicitis are treated as emergencies, requiring surgery. In the U.S., 1 in 15 people will get appendicitis. Although it can strike at any age, appendicitis is rare under age 2 and most common between ages 10 and 30.

Appendicitis Causes

Appendicitis occurs when the appendix becomes blocked, sometimes by stool, a foreign body, cancer, or infection. Since the appendix swells in response to any infection in the body.

Appendicitis Symptoms

When to do if Experiencing Appendicitis Symptoms

Doctors Diagnose Appendicitis

Doctors perform the following tests:

Treating Appendicitis

Surgery to remove the appendix (appendectomy) is the standard treatment. If appendicitis is even suspected, doctors tend to err on the side of safety and quickly remove the appendix to avoid its rupture. If the appendix has formed an abscess, you may have two procedures: one to drain the abscess of pus and fluid, and a later one to remove the appendix.

Different types of surgery for Appendicitis

Surgeon may operate through a large cut (incision) in your belly or use a tool called a laparoscope to remove your appendix through a few smaller incisions.

Appendicitis Prevention

There is no way to prevent appendicitis. However, appendicitis is less common in people who eat foods high in fiber, such as fresh fruits and vegetables.

Monitoring Defecation

Problems with the appendix as well as the rest of the digestive system and at times the overall body, can often be noticed early through symptoms present in stool and urine. Monitor your defecation for signs of abnormality like strange colors, blood, constipation or frequent loose stools.

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