The equipment necessary for the examination of the abdomen and rectum consists of a stethoscope, gloves, lubricant, tissues, and occult blood testing card and Hemoccult developer.
The patient should be lying flat in bed, and the abdomen should be fully exposed from the sternum to the knees. The arms should be at the sides, and the legs flat. Frequently, patients tend to place their arms behind their heads, which tightens the abdominal muscles and makes
the examination more difficult. Placing a pillow beneath the knees often aids in relaxation. The examiner should be standing on the patient's right side. A sheet or towel is placed over the genitalia, as shown in Figure 17-4.
If the patient has complained of abdominal pain, examine the area of pain last. If the examiner touches the area of maximal pain, the abdominal muscles tighten, and the examination is more difficult.
The physical examination of the abdomen includes the following:
Inspection Auscultation Percussion Palpation
• Rectal examination
# Special techniques
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