Your appendix is a small, finger-shaped, hollow tube on the end of your large intestine.
Appendicitis is an inflammation that causes your appendix to swell and become infected.
Appendicitis is usually caused when something, such as a tiny piece of hard stool, blocks your appendix. This blockage causes infection and swelling.
With appendicitis, you may experience pain that starts in the middle part of your upper belly area and shifts to your lower right belly. The pain will gradually get worse over a day or two. You'll experience increased pain when you move or cough or when someone presses on the sore spot.
You may also experience a loss of appetite, feel sick and start throwing up, and sometimes a fever of 100 to 101° F (37.7° to 38.3° C).
To treat appendicitis, doctors perform surgery to remove your appendix through either an open cut or a laparoscope. You'll also be administered IV antibiotics.
If your appendix has already burst at the time of surgery, you'll need to stay in the hospital to receive IV antibiotics and fluids for a longer period of time.
Copyright © 2023 Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, NJ, USA and its affiliates. All rights reserved.