Sunday, March 8, 2009
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.The appendix is located in the lower right quadrant of the abdomen.Given the appendix's propensity to cause death via infection, and the 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. There have been no reports of impaired immune or gastrointestinal function in people without an appendix.Loren G. Martin, a professor of physiology at Oklahoma State University, argues that the appendix has a function in fetuses and adults. Endocrine cells have been found in the appendix of 11 week old fetuses that contribute to "biological control (homeostatic) mechanisms." In adults, Martin argues that the appendix acts as a lymphatic organ. The appendix is experimentally verified as being rich in infection-fighting lymphoid cells, suggesting that it might play a role in the immune system. Zahid suggests that it plays a role in both manufacturing hormones in fetal development as well as functioning to 'train' the immune system, exposing the body to antigens in order that it can produce antibodies. He notes that doctors in the last decade have stopped removing the appendix during other surgical procedures as a routine precaution, because it can be successfully transplanted into the urinary tract to rebuild a sphincter muscle and reconstruct a functional bladder.
Posted by pRiVaTe_3y3 at 9:26 AM