Appendicitis is an inflammation of the appendix, and requires surgery.
The appendix is a tube-shaped piece of tissue, the size of a finger, that connects to the large intestine at the lower right side of the abdomen. The inside of the appendix forms a pouch that opens to the large intestine.
Appendicitis can happen when the opening of the appendix to the large intestine gets blocked. Blockage can be due to hard rock-like stool (called a fecolith), inflammation of lymph nodes in the intestines, or even parasites. Once the appendix is blocked, it becomes inflamed and bacteria can overgrow in it.
Appendicitis requires immediate medical attention. If the infected appendix is not removed, it can eventually burst or rupture as soon as 24 to 72 hours after symptoms start.
If you think someone in your family has appendicitis, call your doctor immediately and don't give the person any pain medication or anything to eat or drink unless instructed to by the doctor.
All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.
|American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) The AAP is committed to the health and well-being of infants, adolescents, and young adults. The website offers news articles and tips on health for families.|
|American College of Surgeons The website of the American College of Surgeons provides consumer information about common surgeries such as appendectomy.|
|American Academy of Family Physicians This site, operated by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), provides information on family physicians and health care, a directory of family physicians, and resources on health conditions.|
|Appendicitis Appendicitis is an inflammation of the appendix, and requires surgery. Find out the symptoms and what doctors do to treat it.|
|Appendicitis What's an appendix and why do they sometimes need to be removed? Find out in this article for kids.|
|Ultrasound: Abdomen Doctors order abdominal ultrasounds when they're concerned about symptoms such as abdominal pain, repeated vomiting, abnormal liver or kidney function tests, or a swollen belly.|
|Appendectomy It's important to understand the ins and outs of an appendectomy so you know what to expect if your child undergoes this procedure.|
|Appendicitis Appendicitis requires immediate medical attention, so it's important to know its symptoms. The earlier it's caught, the easier it will be to treat.|
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