The appendix is located where the small and large intestines meet, projecting outward from the cecum, in the lower right portion of the abdomen. It is a narrow, tubular-shaped organ often described as resembling a worm or a finger.
The purpose of the appendix is unclear. Many experts theorize that the appendix lost its function through evolution and the organ seen today is left over from an earlier time. Another theory suggests that the appendix serves as a warehouse for the good bacteria needed to repopulate the gastrointestinal tract after an illness. There are no observable problems associated with its removal, according to WebMD.
Sometimes it becomes inflamed and infected and may rupture, necessitating surgery to remove the appendix. An inflamed or infected appendix results in a condition known as appendicitis. Appendicitis is indicated by pain around the navel or on the lower right-hand side of the abdomen. Nausea and vomiting often accompany the pain.