The appendix is a tiny organ attached to the large bowel in the right lower abdomen. An infection of the appendix is called appendicitis. It is a common surgical problem. The signs and symptoms of appendicitis include right lower abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, decreased appetite, and sometimes fever. If left untreated, the infected appendix can rupture resulting in an abdominal abscess and possible peritonitis or even death.

Acute appendicitis can be diagnosed by a history and physical exam, but the diagnosis is often confirmed by CT scan of the abdomen. The removal of the infected appendix is called an appendectomy, which is usually performed using the laparoscopic technique through tiny abdominal incisions, each less than half an inch.

To learn more about an appendectomy, click here.