Information for Patients
The appendix is a small, tube-like organ attached to the first part of the large intestine. It is located in the lower right part of the abdomen. It has no known function. A blockage inside of the appendix causes appendicitis. The blockage leads to increased pressure, problems with blood flow, and inflammation. If the blockage is not treated, the appendix can burst and spread infection into the abdomen. This causes a condition called peritonitis.
The main symptom is pain in the abdomen, often on the right side. It is usually sudden and gets worse over time. Other symptoms may include
- Swelling in the abdomen
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Inability to pass gas
- Low fever
Not everyone with appendicitis has all these symptoms.
Appendicitis is a medical emergency. Treatment almost always involves removing the appendix. Anyone can get appendicitis, but it is more common among people 10 to 30 years old.
NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
Your peritoneum is the tissue that lines your abdominal wall and covers most of the organs in your abdomen. A liquid, peritoneal fluid, lubricates the surface of this tissue.
Disorders of the peritoneum are not common. They include
- Peritonitis - an inflammation of the peritoneum
- Complications from peritoneal dialysis
Your doctor may use imaging tests or lab tests to analyze the peritoneal fluid to diagnose the problem. Treatment of peritoneal disorders depends on the cause.