Appendicitis is a condition that occurs when there is inflammation of the appendix. The appendix is ​​a small growth of flesh, finger-shaped, which begins at the junction between the large intestine and small intestine. It is located in the lower abdomen on the right side of our abdomen. Appendicitis is a relatively common disease (1 in 15) and is easily treated through a small surgery. However, if it is not treated in time, it can become very serious and even fatal.


Appendicitis occurs when the appendix is ​​blocked by a foreign body. This can be:

* The feces.
* Mucus.
* An overgrowth or thickening of the lymphoid tissue.

When the appendix is ​​blocked, germs and bacteria multiply, causing an infection. More rarely, it happens that the appendix is ​​blocked by:

* A foreign body accumulation of seeds and / or seeds of fruits and vegetables (apples, grapes, etc.)
* A tumor (almost exclusively in the elderly).

Who is affected?

Anyone can get appendicitis, regardless of age. It is impossible to “predict” the disease, as it always happens unexpectedly, without warning signs. However, statistics show that:

* The case of appendicitis before the age of 4 are very rare.
* Men are affected slightly more often than women.
* The vast majority of cases of appendicitis occur between 10 and 30 years.



It is not a contagious disease.

The main symptoms

The first symptom is abdominal pain obviously:

* It usually starts around the navel and gradually deflects to the right side of the abdomen.
* The time between the first pains and height is 2 to 12 hours, depending on the person.

Many other symptoms are frequently found:

* Low temperature (about 38 ˚ C)
* Nausea
* Vomiting
* Constipation or diarrhea
* Loss of appetite
* Gas and bloating
* Abdomen rigid


Careful examination of the abdomen and the presence of the above symptoms makes the diagnosis quite easy. Staff will conduct most often a blood test and a radio to identify the infection. The doctor usually recommends a urine test to make sure it is not rather a urinary tract infection, the symptoms are sometimes similar to those of appendicitis.

Possible risk of complications

When all the symptoms appear suddenly and are accompanied by chills, fever and pain throughout the abdomen, this is a sign that the inflammation has already spread to the rest of the abdominal cavity, the peritoneum. In this case, you must go quickly to emergencies to avoid serious complications. The biggest risk is peritonitis: it is feared that the appendix, full of pus, ruptures and “explodes” in the abdomen, spilling all bacteria. In this case, there is great risk of a generalized infection in the abdomen, which often leads to sepsis (blood infection). In some severe cases, peritonitis can be fatal.


In case of appendicitis, must proceed rapidly to the removal of the appendix to avoid complications above. This is called an appendectomy surgery. It is a minor operation that usually lasts about thirty minutes. It is necessary to stay in the hospital 2-3 days after surgery.


There is really no way to prevent appendicitis. However, some researchers argue that a healthy and varied diet with an adequate intake of fiber promotes good digestion, which could reduce the risk of infection in the appendix. This theory is unproven.

Did you know

It is estimated that 10-15% of surgeries are done while the appendix was not infected. This occurs most often in children, including a description of symptoms is sometimes unpredictable. However, given the severity of the complications that can follow appendicitis, doctors tend to perform the operation in doubt.