In human anatomy, the appendix is a blind-ended tube connected to the cecum (or caecum), from which it develops embryologically. The cecum is a pouchlike structure of the colon. The appendix is located near the junction of the small intestine and the large intestine.
The appendix averages 10 cm in length, but can range from 2 to 20 cm. The diameter of the appendix is usually between 7 and 8 mm.
Given the appendix’s propensity to cause death by infection, and general good health of people who have had their appendix removed or who have a congenital absence of an appendix, the appendix is traditionally thought to have no function in the human body.
New studies propose that the appendix may harbor and protect bacteria that are beneficial in the function of the human colon.
The most common diseases of the appendix (in humans) are appendicitis and carcinoid tumors. Appendix cancer accounts for about 1 in 200 of all gastrointestinal malignancies. In rare cases, Adenomas can also be present.
Appendicitis (or epityphlitis) is a condition characterized by inflammation of the appendix. Pain often begins in the center of the abdomen, corresponding to the appendix’s development as part of the embryonic midgut. This pain is typically a dull, poorly localised, visceral pain.