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Acute Abdomen: What Is It?

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Updated May 11, 2010

Laparotomy, acute abdomen surgery, acute surgical abdomen, surgical abdomen,

Exploratory Laparotomy Incisions To Diagnose an Acute Abdomen

Image: © ADAM
Definition: The term acute abdomen refers to abdominal pain that begins suddenly and is severe in nature. There are many causes for an acute abdomen, ranging from appendicitis to ectopic pregnancy, peritonitis and even spider bites. Blood clots, pancreatitis, gall bladder attacks and diverticulitis can also cause these symptoms.

While an acute abdomen doesn't always mean surgery is necessary, many of the causes do require surgical intervention. It is essential that the problem is diagnosed quickly and accurately, as many of the problems that cause an acute abdomen can be life-threatening.

Also Known As: surgical abdomen, acute surgical abdomen, peritonitis, colic, colicy abdomen, acute abdominal pain,
Common Misspellings: acut, aqute, acoot, aquet, acut abdomen, acute abdmen, acute abdoman, surgical abdoman,
Examples:
The patient experienced sudden and severe stomach pain and was taken to the emergency room to rule out an acute abdomen.
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