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Clinical examination of the abdominal wall

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

It is important to decide whether an abdominal lump is in the abdominal wall or deep to it, which is ascertained by palpating the lump with the abdominal wall relaxed and then with it tense.

A lump deep to the abdominal muscles becomes impalpable when the abdominal muscles contract, whereas a superficial lump becomes more prominent.

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