Is found within the abdomen. The stomach, small and large intestines, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, spleen, kidneys, ureters, bladder, aortic vasculature, spine, uterus and ovaries, or spermatic cord are all located in the abdomen.
The digestive process consists of Mechanical digestion, the breakdown of food through chewing, peristalsis, and churning; and Chemical digestion, the breakdown of food through a series of metabolic reactions with enzymes.
URINARYUrinary structures are located in abdomen. Problems with urinary system may affect other abdominal structures.LYMPHATICThe spleen is a lymphatic structure.RESPIRATORYA distended abdomen can impinge on respiratory structures.Chronic lung disease with over inflation of lungs can push diaphragm farther into abdomen.INTEGUMENTARYSkin-color changes such as jaundice may indicate liver disease. Nutritional deficits or malabsorption problems can affect growth of skin, hair, and nails.
SKELETALOsteoporosis and arthritis are complications of ulcerative colitis.NEUROLOGICALParasympathetic nervous system increases peristalsis; sympathetic nervous system decreases peristalsis.Many cranial nerves are essential for eating.Spinal cord problems may affect bowel and bladder control.CARDIOVASCULARCV system transports nutrients and wastes. Abdominal aorta is located in abdominal cavity.Right-side heart problem can result in fluid accumulation in abdomen (ascites).DIGESTIVEDigestive system is found in abdominal cavity. Problems with digestive system may affect other abdominal structures.
MUSCULARAbdominal muscles protect and support abdominal contents.REPRODUCTIVEPregnancy displaces abdominal contents.ENDOCRINEThyroid regulates metabolism. Pancreas is an endocrine organ producing insulin, glucagons, and digestive enzymes.
Palpation:ALERT• Do not palpate patients who have had an organ transplant.• Do not palpate the abdomen of a child with suspected Wilms’ tumor because it may cause the tumor to seed into the abdomen.
Is It an Enlarged Left Kidney or an Enlarged Spleen?The spleen has a palpable notch on the medial edge.Percussion of tympany in the LUQ favors an enlarged kidney rather than an enlarged spleen.