Surgery pp 759-769 | Cite as

Assessment of Acute Abdominal Symptoms

  • William P. Schecter


The diagnostic evaluation of the patient with acute abdominal pain is one of the most interesting and challenging problems in clinical medicine. Changes in technology in the past 25 years (ultrasonography, computed tomographic [CT] scanning, magnetic resonance imaging [MRI], diagnostic peritoneal lavage, and laparoscopy) have improved our ability to “see” into the abdomen. Nevertheless, the abdomen remains very much a “black box” for the clinician on the front line. Surgery is still awaiting the development of an imaging test of sufficient accuracy to revolutionize the evaluation of the acute abdomen much as the head CT scan changed forever the fields of neurology and neurosurgery. A careful history and physical examination by an experienced surgeon, together with judicious use of laboratory and currently available imaging studies, remain the best method of evaluation at present.


Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Familial Mediterranean Fever Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Laparoscopic Appendectomy Acute Abdomen 
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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • William P. Schecter
    • 1
  1. 1.Department Clinical SurgeryUniversity of California, San FranciscoSan FranciscoUSA

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