Where the appendix located?

Updated: Jul 23, 2018
  • Author: Sandy Craig, MD; Chief Editor: Barry E Brenner, MD, PhD, FACEP  more...
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Answer

The appendix has no fixed position. It originates 1.7-2.5 cm below the terminal ileum, either in a dorsomedial location (most common) from the cecal fundus, directly beside the ileal orifice, or as a funnel-shaped opening (2-3% of patients). The appendix has a retroperitoneal location in 65% of patients and may descend into the iliac fossa in 31%. In fact, many individuals may have an appendix located in the retroperitoneal space; in the pelvis; or behind the terminal ileum, cecum, ascending colon, or liver. Thus, the course of the appendix, the position of its tip, and the difference in appendiceal position considerably changes clinical findings, accounting for the nonspecific signs and symptoms of appendicitis.


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