Appendicitis happens when your appendix, a small finger-shaped structure that sticks out from your large intestine on the right side, gets inflamed and filled with pus. The inflammation is usually caused by a blockage, but may be caused by an infection.

Without treatment, an inflamed appendix can rupture, infecting the lining of the abdomen. Rupture is most common among infants, occurring in up to 95% of cases. That can be a life-threatening condition.

Appendicitis is one of the most common causes of emergency abdominal surgery.

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Review Date: 11/19/2016  

Reviewed By: Steven D. Ehrlich, NMD, Solutions Acupuncture, a private practice specializing in complementary and alternative medicine, Phoenix, AZ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by the A.D.A.M Editorial team.

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