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.
If appendicitis isn't treated, your appendix can burst (rupture). This causes an infection in your belly called peritonitis. Peritonitis can be life-threatening.
(See also Appendicitis in Children.)
Symptoms of appendicitis include:
Pain that starts in the middle part of your upper belly area and shifts to your right lower belly
Pain that gradually gets worse over a day or two
More pain when you move or cough or when someone presses on the sore spot
Loss of appetite
Feeling sick to your stomach and throwing up
Sometimes fever of 100° to 101° F (37.7° to 38.3° C)
In many people and in babies and children:
In older people and in pregnant women:
If your appendix bursts:
Doctors treat appendicitis with:
If your appendix has already burst at the time of surgery, you'll need to stay in the hospital and get IV antibiotics and fluids for a longer time to avoid sepsis.