Abdominal Masses



  • Ovarian masses are not appreciable by abdominal palpation. Even the largest of ovarian mass may only be palpable by bimanual examination.


    • Feel For

      A palpable mass within the abdomen, noting its:
    • Location
    • Size
    • Shape
    • Consistency
    • Mobility
    • Causes of Abdominal Mass

    • Gastrointestinal - faecal loading, tumour, bezoar, appendiceal abscess, diverticular abscess
    • Hepatobiliary - hepatomegaly, gallbladder enlargment
    • Pancreatic - pancreatic cancer
    • Renal - polycystic kidney disease, transplanted kidney, renal cell carcinoma
    • Vascular - abdominal aortic aneurysm
    • Hernia
    • Lymphoma
    • Abdominal Mass Locations

    • Right hypochondrium - liver, gallbladder, head of pancreasHepatomegaly, gallbladder enlargement, pancreatic head carcinoma
    • Left hypochondrium- spleen, pancreas, stomach, colonPancreatic tumour, gastric tumour
    • Right lumbar - ascending colon, kidneyRenal tumour, polycystic kidney
    • Umbilicus - small bowel, aortaAbdominal aortic aneurysm, umbilical hernia
    • Left lumbar - descending colon, kidneyRenal tumour
    • Right iliac fossa - appendix, caecum, ovaryTransplanted kidney, appendiceal abscess, caecal tumour, hernia, faecal loading
    • Hypogastrium - uterus, bladder, sigmoid colonUrinary retention, faecal loading, sigmoid tumour
    • Left iliac fossa - sigmoid colon, ovaryDiverticular abscess, sigmoid tumour, hernia, faecal loading
    • Flank - kidney, retroperitoneumRenal cyst / tumour, retroperitoneal lymphoma
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