The appendix is in the body's lower right abdominal area where the small intestine and large intestine meet. Scientists are uncertain what the function of this 4-inch tube actually is, but no measurable health effects occur when it is removed.
In some people, the appendix becomes infected. The condition is known as appendicitis. It causes vomiting, nausea, and abdominal pain that starts around the navel and moves to the right side. The patient may also have a fever and abdominal swelling. If the appendix is not removed, it often ruptures. An appendectomy, or surgical removal of the appendix, is the only effective method of treating appendicitis.