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Appendicitis

Appendicitis Overview

The appendix is a narrow tubular pouch attached to the intestines. When the appendix is blocked, it becomes inflamed and results in a condition termed appendicitis. If the blockage continues, the inflamed tissue becomes infected with bacteria and begins to die from a lack of blood supply, which finally results in the rupture of the appendix (perforated or ruptured appendix).

The American Journal of Epidemiology study found that appendicitis was a common condition affecting approximately 6.7% to 8.6% of the population. IN the U.S. 250,000 cases of appendicitis are reported annually. Individuals of any age may be affected, with the highest incidence occurring in the teens and twenties; however, rare cases of neonatal and prenatal appendicitis have been reported. Increased vigilance in recognizing and treating potential cases of appendicitis is critical in the very young and elderly, as this population has a higher rate of complications. Appendicitis is the most common pediatric condition requiring emergency abdominal surgery.

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Appendicitis »

The appendix is a wormlike extension of the cecum and, for this reason, has been called the vermiform appendix.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


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