What Causes Appendicitis?

By christine d
Reviewed: dr. stavarache
Article Sources Article Sources
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Medical Expert Medical Expert

Appendicitis is an inflammation of the appendix, a small pouch that extends from your colon. The appendix is vestigial, which means it has no purpose in the human body. Anyone with an appendix can develop appendicitis, although the condition is most common in people between the ages of 10 and 30.

Once the organ becomes infected it swells causing pain and other symptoms. The standard treatment for an inflamed appendix is surgical removal. It can be performed as an open surgery or laparoscopy. Antibiotics are given to help treat infection.

1. Appendicitis Symptoms

As the person's appendix becomes swollen, it causes sudden pain. Pain usually occurs on the lower right side of the abdomen, but it can refer to other areas and may start around the navel. This condition may also cause nausea, vomiting and a poor appetite.1‘Appendicitis.’ Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 24 May 2019, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/appendicitis/symptoms-causes/syc-20369543.,2‘Appendicitis.’ Johns Hopkins Medicine, www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/appendicitis.

Individuals may experience a low-grade fever as the swelling progresses. Some people also experience flatulence, diarrhea, constipation, diarrhea or bloating. Should the appendix rupture, infectious material can quickly spread throughout the internal abdomen cavity. A drainage tube may need to be inserted to help remove excess fluid before surgery can be attempted.


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