palpation of the spleen

Last reviewed 07/2021

Palpation starts in the right iliac fossa with the right hand aligned parallel to the right costal margin.

Get the patient to breathe in and out. During expiration, press the radial border of the index finger of the examining hand into the abdomen. Retain this position during inspiration.

Progress upwards across the midline and finish subcostally in the midaxillary line.

If palpation is difficult, roll the patient on their side, forty five degrees to the right, and tip the spleen in the mid-axillary line.