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Appendix- All that You Want to Know
The appendix is a small, worm-like organ attached to the large intestine. Its function is not fully understood, but it is believed to be involved in the immune system. The appendix can become inflamed and cause terrible pain in the lower abdomen. This condition is called appendicitis. Appendicitis is a medical emergency, and the inflamed appendix must be removed surgically. This article will explore what the appendix is, what it does, and how appendicitis can be treated.
What is the Appendix?
It is a small, sac-like organ in the large intestine, close to the lower right abdomen, also known as the cecum or vermiform appendix. It is believed to aid the immune system and break down specific food types. The appendix may also contain bacteria that are important for gut health.
If the appendix becomes infected, it can cause appendicitis, a severe condition requiring prompt medical treatment.
What does the appendix do?
Its primary function is to store and release bacteria that are beneficial to the gut. The appendix also produces immune cells that help protect the body against infection. In some cases, the appendix can become inflamed and require treatment.
How can the appendix be removed?
The appendix typically measures about four inches in length. The appendix is believed to be a vestigial organ, meaning it serves no purpose in the human body.
While the appendix doesn't serve any general purpose, it can still cause problems. When the appendix becomes inflamed, it is referred to as appendicitis. This serious condition can lead to death if not treated immediately. Appendicitis occurs when the appendix becomes blocked. This can be caused by a buildup of stool, infection, or other foreign objects.
If you suspect you have appendicitis, it's essential to seek medical attention immediately. The only way to treat appendicitis is through surgery to remove the inflamed appendix. The surgeon makes a small incision in your abdomen and carefully remove your appendix during surgery. In most cases, surgery is booming, and the patient fully recovers.
Pros and Cons of Appendix Removal
The Pros −
Appendix removal can relieve pain and discomfort caused by appendicitis.
It can also prevent the spread of infection from the appendix to other organs in the body.
Appendix removal may also be recommended as a preventive measure for people at high risk for developing appendicitis, such as those with a family history of the condition.
Surgery to remove the appendix is a significant operation that carries certain risks, such as bleeding, infection, and anesthesia reactions.
There is also a slight chance that the surgery may cause damage to other organs near the appendix, such as the intestines or bladder.
After removing their appendix, some people may experience short-term side effects such as nausea, vomiting, Diarrhea, and constipation.
Consequences of Appendectomy
In addition to the researchers' hypothesis, there are other clinical studies about the beneficial functions of the appendix or, more aptly, problems arising without it.
Studies have suggested that the effects of Appendectomy (surgical removal of the appendix) could be linked to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), Crohn's disease, and Ulcerative Colitis, with the maximum risk during the early years after the surgery.
Studies have shown Appendectomy to be associated with an increased risk of Hodgkin lymphoma and autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. A study conducted on 5413 patients having undergone Appendectomy concluded that removal of the appendix was associated with a 1.54-fold increase in the risk of coronary heart disease in the appendectomy population.
Data collected from 62 million patients has shown that with appendectomies, patients stand a higher chance of developing Parkinson's than other patients. Studies have further conjectured that Appendectomy lowers the immunoreactivity of the gut and thus may lower the ability of the gut to respond to C. difficile, which is crucial for the resolution of colitis infections.
When do Problems Arise?
Problems occur when your appendix gets filled with mucus, stool, or parasites, resulting in inflammation. Referred to as appendicitis, virus, bacteria, parasitic invasion, blockage of the tube joining the large intestine and appendix, or tumors can cause the problem.
Statistics point out 10-30 years as the most vulnerable to the risk of appendicitis. Abdominal cramps, loss of appetite, and sudden excruciating pain that worsens with movement are the chief symptoms, but the symptoms vary. Every one in 1,000 people living in the U.S. is affected by appendicitis, and following its occurrence, doctors often advise its surgical removal in the first place.
Thankfully, appendectomies are relatively common and usually result in a full recovery. If you feel your appendix has inflamed or if you are feeling pain in the abdomen, consult a doctor for a further checkup without giving any second thoughts. We hope this article has provided you with essential knowledge supplements regarding the appendix.
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