MadSci Network: Medicine

Re: How many apendixes are removed from people each year?

Date: Fri Mar 31 17:16:18 2000
Posted By: Sarah Martin Mason, Medical student, Medicine, Tulane University School of Medicine
Area of science: Medicine
ID: 953592933.Me

To answer your first question, according to the National Center of
Health Statistics, there were approximately 265,300 appendixes removed
in 1996 (  1996 is the most
recent year for which statistics are available.

To answer your second question, a person will have their appendix
removed if it gets infected.  Since the appendix is really a small,
finger shaped pouch off of the intestine, it is very dangerous for it to
become infected.  If it does become infected it can burst, and the
bacteria inside the intestine can escape and infect the inside of the
abdomen and/or other organs inside your body. When a doctor suspects
appendicitis (the infection of the appendix), she will immediately
perform surgery.  About 15% of the time the person's appendix is not
actually infected (Beers,MD, Mark H. Merck Manual. Merck Research
Laboratories. p.265), but it is better to be safe than sorry.

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