A 18-year-old male asked:
does the appendix do anything for the body?
4 doctor answers
Dr. David Fink answered
38 years experience Family Medicine
Maybe not however: But it does make money for surgeons when it becomes inflamed (appendicitis) because it then has to be surgically removed. The appendix is a remnant from the human body's evolutionary development that now has no significant purpose. However, I have been reminded that it does contain lymphoid tissue which is part of the immune system and may be beneficial in this regard.
Answered on Feb 6, 2016
Dr. Greg Hinson answered
26 years experience Family Medicine
Probably does...: We've always thought of it as a vestigial organ w/o a purpose. But recent research shows that, given its concentration of lymphatic tissue, it might act as an immune sys. Sentry, like the tonsils do, & as a safe house for good bacteria where they can hang out until needed to repopulate the gut should a disease or antibiotics wipe them out, since they're needed for health & digestion.
Answered on Feb 26, 2014
Dr. Jared Adams answered
10 years experience General Practice
Maybe: There is some thinking it may have an immune function or serve as a reservoir for good bacteria to reboot the gut microbiome after a bad infection like dysentery, but for the most part it is just a useless thing that gets infected sometimes and has to come out.
Answered on Aug 20, 2016
Dr. Lisa Persaud answered
11 years experience Hospital-based practice
Yes!: The appendix acts as a 'policeman' for our body. It contains lymph tissue that helps fight off foreign invasion to our body such as infection.In the past, it was regarded as useless in that it was often taken out during abdominal surgeries to prevent a future attack of appendicitis.It is now used in reconstructive surgeries too. It turns out to be useful but if it's inflamed it needs to come out!
Answered on Dec 8, 2015
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