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Abdominal Pain in Adults (cont.)

Can Abdominal Pain in Adults be Prevented?

If the cause of the pain determined a person should follow the instructions specific for the diagnosis.

  • If, for example, an ulcer causes the pain, the person must avoid nicotine, caffeine, and alcohol.
  • If it is caused by gallbladder disease, the person should avoid greasy, fatty, and fried foods.

What is the Outlook for an Adult with Abdominal Pain?

Overall, many types of pain go away without surgery and never determining the cause, and most people need only relief from their symptoms.

Medical causes of abdominal pain generally have a good outcome, but there are exceptions.

Surgical causes of abdominal pain have varying outcomes depending on the severity of the condition and the person's underlying medical condition.

  • If the patient has uncomplicated appendicitis or uncomplicated gallstones, they should recover from the surgery with no long-term problems.
  • If the patient has a ruptured appendix or infected gallbladder, recovery may take longer.
  • Abdominal pain from a perforated ulcer or blocked bowel may mean major surgery and a long recovery.

For problems with a major blood vessel, such as rupture or blood clot, the prognosis may be less poor.

In general, the older the person is and the more underlying conditions they have, the worse the outcome of a surgical intervention.


Fauci, Anthony S., et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 17th ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2011.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/17/2015
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