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Where is the Appendix?

The interactive 3-D illustration can be used to identify and locate various organs within the human anatomy, including the Appendix.

Using the Interactive Illustration:

  • Click on the green buttons to identify organs.
  • Click the magnifying glass when it appears next to the organ to read more.
  • Click and drag the green button below the illustration to rotate the 3-D model, and reveal additional organs.
  • Use the drop down menu below to locate additional information about each organ.

 

 

 

 

Appendix
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The appendix is a small, tube-like structure attached to the cecum, the first part of the large intestine. The anatomical name for the appendix, vermiform appendix, means worm-like appendage.

The appendix is about the size of a finger, approximately 3 to 6 inches long.

It is typically located in the lower right portion of the abdomen, near where the small intestine attaches to the large intestine (colon).

The inside of the appendix forms a pouch that opens into the colon. The inner lining of the appendix produces a small amount of mucus that flows through the appendix and into the colon. The wall of the appendix contains lymphatic tissue that is part of the immune system for making antibodies.


Gall Bladder
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The gall bladder is a pear-shaped organ that stores bile until the body needs it for digestion. Bile is a digestive liquid secreted by the liver. The bile emulsifies fats and neutralizes acids in partly digested food.  It is connected to the liver and the small intestine by the biliary tract.


Kidneys
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The kidneys are bean-shaped organs that filter wastes (especially urea) from the blood and excrete them, along with water, as urine.  Urine contains the by-products of our body's metabolism - salts, toxins, and water - that end up in our blood.  The kidneys also conserve water, salts, and electrolytes. At least one kidney must function properly for life to be maintained.


Large Intestine
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The large intestine (colon) is the part of the lower portion of the intestine from the small intestine to the rectum. Its primary purpose is to extract water from digested food and then pass the resulting solid substance (feces) out of the body.


Liver
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The liver is the largest glandular organ of the body. The liver lies on the right side of the abdominal cavity beneath the diaphragm.  Blood is carried to the liver via two large vessels called the hepatic artery and the portal vein. The heptic artery carries oxygen-rich blood from the heart. The portal vein carries blood containing digested food from the small intestine.  Some of the functions of the liver are: to produce substances that break down fats, convert glucose to glycogen, produce urea (the main substance of urine), make certain amino acids (the building blocks of proteins), filter harmful substances from the blood (such  as alcohol), store vitamins and minerals (vitamins  A, D, K and B12), and maintain a proper level or glucose in the blood. It also produces bile, which is important for digestion.


Ovaries
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The ovaries are a pair of female reproductive organs. They are located in the pelvis, one on each side of the uterus.  The ovaries have two functions: they produce eggs and female hormones.  The ovaries are the main source of female hormones (estrogen and progesterone). These hormones control the development of female body characteristics, such as the breasts, body shape, and body hair.  They also regulate the menstrual cycle and pregnancy.


Pancreas 
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The pancreas is a glandular organ that secretes digestive enzymes (internal secretions) and hormones (external secretions). The pancreas lies beneath the stomach and is connected to the small intestine. The pancreas produces the body's most important enzymes. The enzymes are designed to digest foods and break down starches. The two hormones produced are insulin and glucagon. Insulin and glucagon are secreted directly into the bloodstream and, together, they regulate the level of glucose in the blood. Insulin lowers the blood sugar level and increases the amount of glycogen (stored carbohydrate) in the liver. Glucagon slowly increases the blood sugar level if it falls too low.


Stomach
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The stomach is an organ used to digest food. It has a saclike shape and is located between the esophagus and the intestines. It changes size and shape according to its position in the body and the amount of food inside. Food enters the stomach from the esophagus.  Once food enters the stomach, gastric juices are used to break down the food. The other end of the stomach empties into the small intestine.


Small Intestine
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The small intestine is the upper part of the intestine, where the most extensive part of digestion occurs. Most food products are absorbed in the small intestine.

The lining of the small intestine secretes a hormone called secretin, which stimulates the pancreas to produce digestive enzymes.


Ureters
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The ureters are the ducts that carry urine from the kidneys to the urinary bladder. The ureters are muscular tubes that can propel urine down these tubes under the impetus of gravity, assisted by contractions of the smooth muscles that line the ureteral walls.


Urinary Bladder
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The urinary bladder, an elastic, muscular sac in the pelvic cavity,is the organ that collects urine excreted by the kidneys prior to disposal by urination. Urine enters the bladder via the ureters and exits via the urethra.