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the physical assessment of a patient's abdomen by visual inspection, auscultation, percussion, and palpation. Visual inspection of the normally oval shape of the abdominal surface while the patient is supine may reveal abnormal surface features indicating the effects of disease, surgery, or injury. Subsurface tumors, fluid accumulation, or hypertrophy of the liver or spleen may be observed as an abnormal surface feature. Auscultation may reveal vascular sounds that provide information about arterial disorders such as aortic aneurysms and bowel sounds that indicate intestinal function. In pregnancy, auscultation can detect fetal heartbeat and blood circulation in the placenta. Percussion helps detect the condition of internal organs. Palpation is used to detect areas of tenderness or rigidity, muscle tone and skin condition, and shapes and sizes of subsurface organs or masses.
Abdominal ExaminationA hands-on evaluation of the abdominal cavity to identify abnormalities, if any, based on any change in size, shape, consistency, or sound on percussion of the organs found therein.
Parameters assessed Ascites, ballotability, bowel sounds (normoactive, hyperactive, hypoactive, high-pitched, inaudible, tympanitic), costovertebral angle tenderness, distension, obesity, fluid wave, guarding, hepatomegaly, splenomegaly, organomegaly, liver, spleen and kidneys (tender or not), McBurney's point (for appendicitis), Murphy's sign, palpable, nonpalpable, protuberant, rebound tenderness, scaphoid, surgical scars.