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Appendicitis

The appendix is a part of the bowel that doesn’t have any known use to humans. It is a small tube about 5-10 cm long that is found at the end of the caecum (the pouch where the large intestine begins).

Appendicitis is when the appendix becomes inflamed (swollen) for reasons that are not fully understood. An operation to remove the appendix before it bursts is usually necessary. Appendicitis is the most common emergency condition that needs surgery.

About 6 in 100 people get appendicitis - it mostly affects children and young adults, but can occur at any age.