SATURN STILLS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SATURN STILLS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Test for appendicitis. A doctor uses his fingers to feel the lower abdomen of a young boy lying on a bed. This technique, called palpation, enables him to feel whether the appendix is inflamed, indicating appendicitis. Appendicitis is the acute inflammation of the appendix, a small finger-shaped branch of the large intestine. The condition is common in children and young adults, and often occurs without a known cause. If untreated the inflamed appendix can burst, causing infection of the lining of the abdomen (peritonitis). The usual treatment for appendicitis is surgery to remove the diseased appendix (appendicectomy).
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