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Medically reviewed by Last updated on Apr 2, 2024.

What is appendicitis?

Appendicitis is inflammation of your appendix. The appendix is a small pouch. It is attached to the large intestine on the lower right side of the abdomen. The appendix may get blocked by food or by part of a bowel movement that becomes hard. The appendix can become infected with bacteria or a virus. Appendicitis can also be caused by a parasite or tumor. You will need immediate care to prevent a ruptured appendix. A ruptured appendix can cause bacteria to leak into the abdomen. This can lead to a serious infection called peritonitis.

Abdominal Organs

What are the signs and symptoms of appendicitis?

Symptoms may start suddenly. The most common symptom is pain that starts at the belly button and moves to the lower right side of your abdomen. The pain worsens when you touch your abdomen, move, sneeze, cough, or take a deep breath. You may also have any of the following:

How is appendicitis diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will examine you and check for pain or tenderness in your abdomen. You may also need any of the following:

How is appendicitis treated?

Treatment options

The following list of medications are related to or used in the treatment of this condition.

When should I seek immediate care?

When should I call my doctor?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.