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What causes appendicitis?

Appendicitis is inflammation of the appendix, which is a thin pouch attached to the large intestine on the right side of the abdomen. It is usually about the size of a finger.

The exact cause of appendicitis is not known, but it may be food or faeces (poo) getting lodged in the appendix. The appendix becomes blocked, inflamed, then infected. While appendicitis can occur at any age, it is most common in children and young adults.

If you think that you or someone in your care may have appendicitis, it is important that you see a doctor as soon as possible. If the infected appendix bursts, the infection is likely to spread throughout the abdomen, causing serious problems.

Last reviewed: November 2016

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Appendicectomy (appendix removal) information | myVMC

Appendicectomy is a surgical procedure to remove the appendix from the abdomen. It is a treatment for acute appendicitis and tumours of the appendix.

Read more on myVMC – Virtual Medical Centre website

Appendicitis - myDr.com.au

Appendicitis is inflammation of the appendix. It usually starts with the main symptom of pain around the navel that moves to the lower right abdomen.

Read more on myDr website

Appendicitis in children and teenagers | Raising Children Network

Appendicitis is an inflammation of the appendix. Find out about appendicitis symptoms, and what to do if you think your child has appendicitis.

Read more on Raising Children Network website

Appendicitis | myVMC

Appendicitis is the sudden onset of inflammation of the appendix, which is a small, finger-shaped blind-ending sac that branches off the first part of the large intestine. Except for a hernia, acute appendicitis is the most common cause in the USA of an attack of severe, acute abdominal pain that requires abdominal operation. It is the most common cause of intra-abdominal infection in developed countries.

Read more on myVMC – Virtual Medical Centre website

Appendicitis | Better Health Channel

Read more on Better Health Channel website

Appendicitis | The Sydney Children's Hospitals Network

Read more on Sydney Children's Hospitals Network website

Kids' Health - Topics - Your appendix

It is attached to the beginning of your large intestine (the caecum - say: see-kem), near where the small and large intestines meet.

Read more on Women's and Children's Health Network website

Abdominal pain in children - Better Health Channel

Children may feel stomach pain for a range of reasons and may need treatment

Read more on Better Health Channel website

Parenting and Child Health - Health Topics - Abdominal pain (stomach ache)

Children often complain of stomach ache (pain in the tummy). It can be a sign of illness, but often a child will have pain, but not be unwell.

Read more on Women's and Children's Health Network website

Laparoscopy - keyhole surgery

Laparoscopy is a procedure that can be used to investigate and treat a variety of conditions. It involves using a telescope-like instrument called a laparoscope to view the inside of the abdomen and/or pelvis.

Read more on myDr website

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