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JAMA Pediatrics Patient Page
November 2017

New Approaches for Appendicitis in Children

JAMA Pediatr. 2017;171(11):1132. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2017.2935

Appendicitis is defined as inflammation of the appendix, which is a small section of the intestine that sticks out where the small and large intestines come together (similar to a dead-end side street in the intestines).

Appendicitis happens when the appendix gets blocked with a particle in the stool and then becomes inflamed. The blockage can cause bacteria to overgrow in the appendix, leading to infection and inflammation. Appendicitis is a common condition in childhood and typically occurs after age 10 years, although it can occur at any age. Appendicitis is the most common disease leading to surgery in children.