What is included in the abdominal exam to evaluate gastroenteritis?

Updated: Feb 10, 2017
  • Author: Arthur Diskin, MD; Chief Editor: Steven C Dronen, MD, FAAEM  more...
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Answer

A careful abdominal examination is necessary to exclude causes of diarrhea that may require surgical intervention.

The examiner should look for signs of an acute abdomen, listening for bowel sounds, determining the location of any tenderness, and palpating for masses or organomegaly, rebound, guarding, distension, or rigidity.

Appendicitis in children may manifest as diarrhea.

Extreme caution should be exercised in post gastric bypass bariatric surgery patients, as they may not manifest typical signs/symptoms such as vomiting or distension with obstruction or ischemia.


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