Appendicitis is the inflammation of the appendix, a short tube like projection from the Caecum, which is the junction between the small and large intestine.
In man the appendix has no known functions. If it becomes inflamed and or infected it will give rise initially to abdominal pain, normally felt on the right hand lower side of the abdomen.
If it is infected and allowed to go unchecked, it can give rise to peritonitis or inflammation and infection of the peritoneal or abdominal cavity.
Infection can spread very easily and quickly in this cavity and the condition can become life threatening extremely quickly.
Diagnosis is important in the early stages, but it can frequently be confused for other causes of abdominal pain, such as constipation, flatulence or diarrhea associated with bowel infections.
Surgery to remove the inflamed appendix is normally carried out very quickly if there is a suspicion that it may progress to peritonitis, and the risks during surgery are lower at this stage.
Additional medical conditions: