The appendix is also called the vermix, the cecal appendix, or the appendix. It is a tube that attaches to the cecum. The cecum is the structure of the colon that looks like a pouch. The site of the appendix is near to the junction of the large intestine and the small intestine.

Although the physiologic purpose of the appendix is not clearly defined, it is thought to be a vestigial remnant (from a primitive version of the large intestine). Most researchers agree that it has a secondary role in immune function.

In Latin, the term ‘vermiform’ means worm-shaped. Although the appendix ranges from a length of two centimeters to twenty centimeters, the average length is ten centimeters. The appendix usually has a diameter between seven and eight millimeters.

Historically, the most substantial appendix that has ever been removed from someone was twenty-six centimeters long and came out of a patient in Zagreb, Croatia.

The appendix is a small finger-like tube connected to the cecum, from which it develops during fetal development. The cecum is a pouch-like organ of the colon, located at the intersection of the small and the large intestine,  in the lower right abdomen.

The appendix is a thin tube in the lower right abdomen. It sits where the small intestine meets the large intestine. Initially, many physicians believed the appendix had little or no purpose.

When it does get noticed, it is usually because it’s become inflamed. But the reputation of the appendix is becoming better. Researchers are discovering that the appendix may play a significant role in good health. Experts are also researching less invasive ways to treat infections of the appendix.

The Lymphatic tissue in the appendix assists in immune function. The appendix’s official name is a vermiform appendix, which translates to “like a worm appendage.” The appendix is believed to harbor bacteria.

Previously, the appendix was believed to have little physiological or no function. But recent studies have established, the appendix serves a significant role in the fetal stage and young adults.

The Endocrine cells appear in the appendix, in a fetus at around the first trimester of development; these cells of the fetal appendix have been discovered to produce several biogenic amines and peptide hormones, compounds that aid various biological control or homeostatic mechanisms.

There had been little preliminary evidence of this or any other function of the appendix in research, maybe because the appendix doesn’t exist in domestic animals.

Among adults, the appendix is now assumed to be involved predominantly in immune processes. Lymphoid tissue begins to amass in the appendix shortly after delivery.

It attains a climax between the second and third decades of living, reducing quickly subsequently and virtually disappearing after the age of 60.

During the initial years of development, the appendix has been revealed to function as a lymphoid organ, helping with the maturation of B lymphocytes, which is a variety of the white blood cell and in the creation of the class of antibodies known as immunoglobulin A antibodies.

Scientists have also discovered that the appendix is included in the production of molecules that regulate the movement of lymphocytes to various other body sites.

The appendix appears to be responsible for exposing white blood cells to antigens, or foreign substances, existing in the gastrointestinal tract.

Nevertheless, the appendix presumably helps to quell potentially destructive humoral antibody responses while facilitating naturally acquired immunity to a virulent agent that is restricted to a specific organ or tissue.

Formerly, the appendix was often randomly extracted and disposed of during other abdominal surgeries to deter any likelihood of a later attack of appendicitis; the appendix is now spared in case it is required for reconstructive surgery in the event of the removal of the urinary bladder.

In such an operation, a portion of the intestine is designed into a replacement bladder. The appendix is utilized to re-create a sphincter muscle so that the patient remains capable of urine retention.

In extension, the appendix has been successfully reconstructed into a substitute replacement for a diseased ureter, enabling urine to flow from the kidneys to the bladder.

Consequently, the appendix, once considered a nonfunctional tissue, is now known as a valuable substitute that can be utilized in an assortment of reconstructive surgical procedures. It is no longer habitually removed and discarded, especially when it is healthy.

What does the appendix do?

The appendix is a 4-inch-long tube. It’s attached to the first part of the large intestine. Its exact function is unclear. Some people were of the opinion that it’s an evolutionary holdover that provides no benefits to one’s health.

This conventional wisdom has led to the prevalent use of appendectomies to prevent and treat disease. For instance, appendicitis happens when the appendix becomes inflamed. Men’s lifetime risk of appendicitis is 8.6 percent, warn researchers in the World Journal of GastroenterologyTrusted Source.

Women are at a lifetime risk of 6.7 percent. To treat it, doctors would usually perform an appendectomy to extract the appendix. Many appendectomies are used to deter rather than treat disease.

According to the study published in the World Journal of GastroenterologyTrusted Source, the rate of appendectomies is higher than the rate of occurrence appendicitis.

An estimated 36 incidental appendectomies are needed to prevent one case of appendicitis. Appendicitis can pose risks to one’s health, but so can surgery. Some people believe preventive surgery is the best option.

Contrary to conventional wisdom, the appendix can be useful. It can be a haven for valuable bacteria in the body. These good bacteria might help aid good digestion and support the immune system.

For many years, researchers have observed that appendicitis increases when communities introduce or use sanitary water systems. Such convenient modern amenities may lead to fewer friendly organisms in our environments.

This may lead to “biome depletion” in the body. In turn, this may cause the immune system to become overactive. It may leave the body susceptible to certain conditions such as appendicitis.

Structure of the Appendix

The human appendix usually spans 9cm in length but can vary from 5 to 35 cm. The appendix’s breadth is 6 mm, and when more than 6mm is assumed, it is a swollen or inflamed appendix.

The appendix usually resides in the lower right quartern of the abdomen, close to the right hip bone. The root of the appendix is situated 2cm underneath the ileocecal valve that insulates the large intestine from the small intestine, its position within the abdomen found at McBurney’s point.

What happens when your appendix becomes inflamed?

When the appendix becomes inflamed, it’s called appendicitis. It’s usually caused by a bacterial infection. The infection might start in the stomach and spread to the appendix.

It might also arise from a hardened piece of feces in the intestinal tract.
The symptoms of appendicitis can vary. They can include:

  • Pain in the lower right part of the abdomen
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Without treatment, one could develop an abscess or ruptured appendix. This can be a life-threatening condition and warrants immediate medical attention.