What is Appendicitis?

Appendicitis occurs when the appendix becomes inflamed and fills with pus. The appendix is a pouch that sticks out from the colon on the lower right side of the abdomen. The appendix does not appear to serve any purpose in the body but can cause problems if it ruptures.

What are the causes?

  • Obstruction – food waste or stool can get trapped in the cavity that runs down the appendix. Bacteria then invade rapidly, causing the appendix to inflame and fill with pus.
  • Infection – this may cause bacteria to invade, causing the appendix to inflame and fill with pus.


Treatments for Appendicitis:

  • Appendectomy – removal of the appendix
  • If symptoms have exisited for more than five days, antibiotics may be given to shrink inflammation and infection. The appendix is then removed a few months later.

What can I do?

  • Do not delay getting treatment for your child. Call your doctor to make sure your child’s stomachache is not serious.


It is important to remember the health information found on this Web site is for reference only not intended to replace the advice and guidance of your health care provider. Always seek the advice of your physician with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you think you may have a true medical emergency, call 911 immediately.


  • It begins with an aching pain around the navel which then shifts to the lower right abdomen. Then the pain increases and gets sharper as the inflammation spreads. The pain usually settles in the lower right abdomen. Location can vary, especially in children.
  • Nausea and sometimes vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Low-grade fever that begins after the other symptoms
  • Constipation
  • Inability to pass gas
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal swelling