What is Appendicitis?

The appendix is a small, finger-shaped organ attached to your colon on the lower right side of your abdomen, and when it becomes inflamed, the condition is called appendicitis. There are approximately 250,000 cases of appendicitis each year. Typically, these cases are reported in people under the age of 30.


Below are some of the most common symptoms of appendicitis:

  • Worsening abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Pain with coughing or sneezing
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Difficulty passing gas

Appendicitis Pain Location

The most notable symptom of appendicitis is pain in the abdomen. This usually occurs on the right side and becomes increasingly intense. For some people experiencing appendicitis, the pain may begin directly behind the navel.


Doctors rely on several factors to make an appendicitis diagnosis. They’ll perform a physical exam and ask you questions about your symptoms. Then, they may order a series of tests, including:

  • Blood tests to detect infection
  • Urine tests to rule out a urinary tract infection or kidney stone
  • An abdominal ultrasound or CT scan to check for inflammation of the appendix


Appendicitis treatment may require emergency surgery, which is called an appendectomy. Your doctor may perform an open appendectomy, which requires one incision in the abdomen, or a laparoscopic appendectomy, which requires a few small incisions in the abdomen. Because treatment for appendicitis can need to happen immediately, it’s very important to call 911 or got to the nearest emergency room when you experience symptoms.

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