The human vermiform appendix is a tremendously interesting organ - no one knows for sure what it does, and up to one in ten people will require emergency surgery to remove it. The appendix has had a tremendous impact on history, and the history of surgery for the appendix is an excellent lens to look at the history of medicine and surgery. Feel free to explore our museum.
Some of the questions you may have include:
First, nothing replaces an evaluation by a physician, and there are laboratory tests that aid in the diagnosis of appendicitis.
Second, Cope's "Early Diagnosis of the Acute Abdomen" clearly states that "appendicitis should never be lower than second on any" list of possible causes of abdominal pain.
That said, there are warning signs, common to most people with appendicitis.
For more, including a probability calculator for the diagnosis of appendicitis: click here
Madeline gets appendicitis in 1939
The appendix is an incredibly interesting organ!
For more about the anatomy and physiology of the appendix: click here
- For more about the appendix in history: click here
- If you want to know more about the history of surgery for appendicitis, from Reginald Fitz to the present: click here
Leonardo DaVinci's 1492 drawing of the appendix
I have had (or am having) my appendix out
How is an appendectomy performed?: click here
What are the risks of appendectomy? click here
What is a typical recovery after surgery, and when can I go back to work? click here
What is the complication rate from appendectomy and where is the safest and best place for me to have my surgery? click here