Abdomen_03Exam of the Abdomen
The major components of the abdominal exam include: observation, auscultation, percussion,and palpation. While these are the same elements which make up the pulmonary and cardiacexams, they are performed here in a slightly different order (i.e. auscultation before percussion)and carry different degrees of importance. Pelvic, genital, and rectal exams, all part of theabdominal evaluation, are discussed elsewhere.
When looking, listening, feeling and percussing imagine what organs livein the area that you are examining. The abdomen is roughly divided into four quadrants: rightupper, right lower, left upper and left lower. By thinking in anatomic terms, you will remindyourself of what resides in a particular quadrant and therefore what might be identifiable during both normal and pathologic states.
Quadrants of the AbdomenTopical Anatomy of the Abdomen