Auscultation of bowel sounds can provide information about the motion of air and liquid in the gastrointestinal tract. Many examiners perform auscultation of the abdomen before percussion or palpation, in contrast to the usual order. It is believed that percussion or palpation

Figure 17-14 Abdominal venous pattern.

may change the intestinal motility;therefore, auscultation should be performed first to produce a more accurate assessment of the existing bowel sounds.

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