Assessment Of The Abdomen
Kevin Valeri is a 64-year-old man who presents to the gastroenterologist’s office with constipation and abdominal bloating.
- Pain level is a 4/10 location = right lower abdomen
- Retired Engineer
- States he has been going to the bathroom with the help of laxatives, but not having regular movements
- Appetite is decreased, some nausea
- PMH: depression, anxiety, chronic constipation
- Vital signs: T 37 degrees Centigrade, P 64, R 16, BP 124/58
- Bowel sounds hypoactive in all four quadrants
- Medications: Lamictal 200mg daily, Lexapro 10 mg daily
- Weight = 210 lbs, last visit weight = 195
- What other assessments should be included for this patient?
- What questions should the nurse ask with regard to the abdominal pain?
- From the readings, subjective data, and objective data, what is the most probable cause of the abdominal pain?
- What should be included in the plan of care?
- What interventions should be included in the plan of care for this patient?
What is assessment of the abdomen?
Assessment of the abdomen involves a thorough physical examination of the abdomen to assess for any abnormalities or signs of disease. Here are some steps that are typically included in the assessment:
- Inspection: The healthcare provider will first visually inspect the abdomen for any visible abnormalities, such as scars, rashes, or distention.
- Auscultation: The healthcare provider will listen to the abdomen using a stethoscope to assess bowel sounds, which can help indicate the presence of gastrointestinal issues.
- Palpation: The healthcare provider will use their hands to feel the abdomen for any masses, tenderness, or other abnormalities. Palpation can also help assess the size and location of organs in the abdomen.
- Percussion: The healthcare provider may tap on the abdomen with their fingers to assess the density of underlying organs and tissues.
- Special tests: Depending on the suspected condition, the healthcare provider may perform additional tests, such as a liver or spleen function test, to further evaluate the abdomen.
The assessment of the abdomen is an important part of a physical exam and can help detect potential health issues early on. It’s important to discuss any concerns or symptoms with a healthcare provider to ensure timely and appropriate treatment.
Disorders of the abdomen
- Gastrointestinal disorders: These include conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), celiac disease, and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Symptoms can include abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, and nausea.
- Liver and gallbladder disorders: These include conditions such as hepatitis, cirrhosis, and gallstones. Symptoms can include abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and jaundice.
- Pancreatic disorders: These include conditions such as pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer. Symptoms can include abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and weight loss.
- Abdominal hernias: These occur when an internal organ or tissue bulges through a weak area in the abdominal wall. Common types include inguinal hernias (in the groin area) and umbilical hernias (near the belly button).
- Abdominal trauma: This can result from physical injury or trauma to the abdomen, which can cause internal bleeding or organ damage.
- Abdominal tumors: These can be benign or malignant and can affect any organ or tissue in the abdomen. Symptoms can include abdominal pain, bloating, and weight loss.
- Abdominal infections: These include conditions such as appendicitis, diverticulitis, and peritonitis. Symptoms can include fever, abdominal pain, and nausea.
It’s important to seek medical attention if you experience any persistent or severe abdominal symptoms, as early diagnosis and treatment can lead to better outcomes.
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