Abdominal Pain in Adults (cont.)
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What exams and tests are used to diagnose the cause of abdominal pain in adults?
Physical examination will include a careful examination of the patient's abdomen, heart, and lungs in order to pinpoint the source of the pain.
Laboratory tests may or may not help to determine the cause of the abdominal pain. Combined with the information gained from the questions the patient was asked and the physical examination performed by the doctor, certain blood or urine tests may be ordered and could assist in determining the diagnosis.
Radiology studies of the patient's abdomen can be useful, but are not always necessary or helpful.
Ultrasound is a painless procedure useful in finding some causes of abdominal pain.
The patient and doctor should discuss the need for an X-ray or CT scan and their associated radiation exposure before proceeding with any radiological examination.
The doctor may perform no tests at all. The cause of the patient's pain may be clear without any tests and may be known not to be serious. If the patient does undergo tests, the professional should explain the results to them.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/17/2015
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