Abdominal Examination- General Medicine/ Check Up

The abdominal exam, in medicine, is performed as part of a physical examination, or when a patient presents with abdominal pain or a history that suggests an abdominal pathology.
The abdominal exam has conventionally been split into different stages:

  • Preparation/Positioning of the patient.
  • Inspection of the patient and the visible characteristics of their abdomen.
  • Auscultation of the abdomen with a stethoscope.
  • Palpation of the patient's abdomen and abdominal organs.
  • Percussion of the patient's abdomen.

Special tests performed based on the need to inspect for signs of various abdominal diseases.
According to Mosby's, "The abdominal exam is performed as part of the comprehensive physical examination or when a patient presents with signs of symptoms of an abdominal disease process." In other words, your doctor will often perform an abdominal exam as part of a routine examination. However, your doctor might perform additional tests if your doctor feels that you might have an abdominal disease.
The abdominal exam typically begins a visual examination of the abdomen. Some common things an examiner might look for are:

  • masses
  • scars
  • lesions
  • abdominal distension

In addition, a doctor might look/check for specific signs of disease, such as:

  • spider angiomata
  • caput medusae
  • ascites

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