For many years now the reasons behind the function of the appendix has been a mystery. It has now been uncovered by scientists after years of research its true function. The appendix is the small tube that is found attached to the large intestine. It was first thought that is was a useless organ just found in the body, but researchers at the Midwestern University of Arizona have shown that it is used to shed useful gut bacteria, as at times useful bacteria maybe killed off from the digestive system or any attacks from diseases. This is also commonly known as to be a ‘reservoir’. Tissues that are found on the Appendix are known to stimulate the growth of gut and other beneficial bacteria. In an average adult the appendix can be found to be roughly around 5-10cm long in length. New Research has uncovered that the true purpose of the appendix is that it plays an important role in our immune system.
During/After Birth Lymph tissues are found to form parts of the Appendix. As a result the appendix will then produce B Lymphocytes which produces antibodies. These antibodies are what protects our bodies from invading pathogens.
Even when the Appendix can play a key vital role in our immune system, it can also have a potential of it turning into a condition known as: Appendicitis. This takes place when the appendix becomes inflamed and may rupture. Doctors are still unsure about the causes of appendicitis but they have an idea that it is mainly caused by mucus or faeces that block the appendix. Research has been shown that Teenagers and older children are more prone to these diseases. If it is not treated in time this block can then rupture the appendix.
At first you feel pain around your abdomen area, this will become constant and severe. Other system may include: feeling sick. Diarrhoea and having a high temperature. Coughing and walking tend to make this pain become even worse.
Treatment for Appendicitis is known as: Appendectomy - which is the removal of the Appendix. 2 types of surgery can be performed: Keyhole surgery and Open Surgery. Keyhole surgery is when 3 -4 cuts are made, gas used to inflate the abdomen and the Appendix is removed. Open Surgery involves a larger cut being made to remove the Appendix as the appendix is severely damaged and it may burst at any given time.