What is an Appendix?

The appendix seems to be part of the body that we can manage without, and even if it does not do anything important for us. The appendix is a hollow tube, about 8 to 15 centimeters long, closed at the end.

In other words, it is a “blind” tube that does not go anywhere. It is found at the beginning of the large intestine in the lower right part of abdomen.

So it is a kind of off-shoot of the large intestine. The wall of the appendix has the same layers as the wall of the intestine. The inner layer gives off a sticky mucus. Beneath it is a layer of lymphoid tissue.

It is in this tissue may become swollen when there is infection in the body. The contents of the intestine enter the appendix but are not easily forced out. If the tissue is swollen the contents of the tube may remain and become hard.

The veins of the appendix may be easily squeezed by the hardened material and swollen tissue. This cuts off the blood flow and may cause infection.

Since appendicitis, or inflammation of the appendix, occurs fairly commonly, many people are constantly on the watch for symptoms. The typical symptoms are pain, tenderness, and spasm in the right side of the abdomen.

Sometimes the pain is first felt in the pit of the stomach and then is concentrated on the right side. In children, the first symptoms of appendicitis may be crying, vomiting, and refusing to eat. Sometimes parents give their children a laxative when this happens, and this a very dangerous thing to do.

A doctor should always be consulted at once when such symptoms appear. There is the only treatment when a person has acute appendicitis: immediate operations to remove the appendix. It is a simple procedure and can be done quite safely.  

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