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Acute Abdominal Pain

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acute abdominal pain

Acute Abdominal Pain

Dr. Ashish Vashistha
Head & Senior Consultant - General Surgery
General Surgery

Don’t ignore the Acute abdominal pain

Almost everyone will experience abdominal pain at sometime or the other in their lives. Acute attack of pain in the region bounded above by ribs and diaphragm, below by pubic bones and on the sides by flanks is known as acute abdominal pain.

It can occur suddenly or over a period of several hours and requires immediate attention. A detailed history and thorough clinical examination should be done in every case of acute abdomen.

Common causes and its symptoms -

          • Acute Appendicitis- Occurs in all age groups. It can present with pain mainly on right lower side of abdomen with fever and vomiting.
          • Acute gall bladder stone pain-Pain in upper abdomen along with vomiting, fever and elevated pulse rate
          • Acute Pancreatitis - Commonly seen after 30 yr of age. Severe pain in upper part of abdomen mainly central & may be associated with profuse vomiting and elevated pulse rate.
          • Amoebic liver abscess- Occur after amoebic dysentery. Pain is in the region of upper and right side of the abdomen.
          • Gastritis- Inflammation of stomach and can present as pain in upper abdomen and vomiting
          • Urinary tract infection- Abdominal pain with burning sensation while passing urine.
          • Acute gastroenteritis- It is due to infection in the gastrointestinal tract and may present with cramping abdominal pain, loose stools, fever, nausea and vomiting.
          • Acute intestinal obstruction- Abdominal pain, vomiting, abdominal distension, inability to pass flatus and stools. It might be due to abdominal tuberculosis, acute strangulation of small and large intestine, Intestinal worms etc.
          • Perforation in small and large intestine – Hole in the intestine (food tract) can lead to swelling of abdomen, pain & vomiting.
          • Ruptured ectopic gestation- Rupture of gestational sac may present with pain in abdomen. It may be associated with fainting. It is found in females of child bearing age.
          • Other causes- Ruptured cyst of ovary , twisted ovarian cyst, Ruptured Aortic aneurysms, Aortic dissection , Acute regional ileitis, Acute salpingitis, Sub diaphragmatic abscess etc.

What to do-

When the patient feels pain in abdomen, he/she should

              • Seek advice of a qualified medical practitioner immediately
              • Visit emergency services of a nearby hospital
              • Avoid self medication or diagnose
              • Avoid over the counter medicines which suppress the pain for time being and may reoccure later in more severe forms.

Tests that can help after consultation with your doctor-

                • Complete blood count, Liver function test, renal function test, Urine test
                • Electrocardiogram
                • X ray of abdomen
                • Ultrasonography of Abdomen
                • Upper and Lower Gastrointestinal endoscopy
                • Contrast Enhanced CT of Abdomen

Treatment-

Acute abdominal conditions can be treated successfully in most cases when treated timely thorough detailed clinical examination, investigation and correct diagnose by expert clinician.

Treatment can be Medical for inflammation, ulcers etc.

Surgical treatment is required for Appendicitis, Cholecystitis, Hernia etc. It can be done laparoscopicaly with less discomfort and faster post operative recovery of the patient.