Global Health Care Clinic

APPENDIX
Appendix

The appendix sits at the junction of the small intestine and large intestine. It’s a thin tube about four inches long. Normally, the appendix sits in the lower right abdomen.

The function of the appendix is unknown. One theory is that the appendix acts as a storehouse for good bacteria, “rebooting” the digestive system after diarrheal illnesses. Other experts believe the appendix is just a useless remnant from our evolutionary past. Surgical removal of the appendix causes no observable health problems.

Appendix Treatment
  • Appendectomy: Surgery is the only treatment for appendicitis. The doctor may use the traditional technique (one large cut) or laparoscopy (several small cuts and using a camera to see inside). Surgery is also needed to remove tumors of the appendix. If the tumor is large, it may require more aggressive surgery with removal of part of the colon.
  • Antibiotics: While the diagnosis is in question, antibiotics treat any potential infection that might be causing the symptoms. In general, antibiotics alone cannot effectively treat appendicitis.