When to See a Doctor About Abdominal Pain

Abdominal pain — or a stomach ache — is an affliction that nearly everyone experiences at one time or another. Although it’s common, it can range in severity and location.

Different symptoms can make it difficult to know if you should see a doctor or wait it out, but some types of abdominal pain could indicate serious medical issues. Your abdomen consists of several vital organs, from your intestines to your liver.

Abdominal pain can be complicated to diagnose, but at the Center for Minimally Invasive and Robotic Surgery, our team specializes in abdominal pain treatment. Brian Prebil, DO, Eric Thomas, MD, FACS, and our surgical team offer the latest in diagnostics and minimally invasive surgery to repair and treat a range of common abdominal issues.

Abdominal discomfort caused by indigestion might pass in a few hours, but it’s important to recognize the signs of more serious conditions. Call us in any of the following cases.

Abdominal pain doesn’t go away

Pain is your body’s way of telling you that something isn’t right. Mild to moderate abdominal pain that goes away within a day generally isn’t cause for concern, but pain that increases in intensity or lasts more than a few days should be professionally evaluated.

Some conditions, like appendicitis, trigger sudden abdominal pain that gets worse over a period of hours. Appendectomy is a type of surgery to remove your appendix and prevent rupture. 

Other issues, like adhesions, cause chronic abdominal pain that just won’t go away.

Gallstones or other gallbladder problems can also cause persistent abdominal pain. We offer comprehensive diagnostic testing to determine if your pain is linked to gallbladder issues, and may recommend gallbladder removal to treat your pain.

Abdominal pain worsens with activity

Hernias are a common cause of abdominal pain. While the most common sign of a hernia is a visible bulge in the abdomen or groin, it can also cause pain that gets worse with activity. 

A hernia develops when organs or tissue push through your abdominal wall. Causes of hernias include heavy lifting, obesity, and pregnancy. 

Not all hernias are painful, but they may cause pain that gets worse with activity like lifting or straining with bowel movements.

Hernias don’t heal on their own, but our team specializes in repairing hernias with minimally invasive techniques. By restoring strength to your abdominal wall, organs are put back in place and to relieve pain.

It’s not just abdominal pain

Abdominal pain that occurs on its own is bothersome enough, but many conditions trigger other symptoms along with abdominal discomfort. When abdominal pain comes along with other symptoms, it should be evaluated.

Signs that you should schedule an appointment with us for abdominal pain include:

Pain in other areas of your body, changes in urination or bowel movements, and other symptoms could indicate a condition like pancreatitis or kidney stones that can be managed with medical intervention.

When abdominal pain could indicate a medical emergency

Sometimes, abdominal pain is a symptom of a serious medical emergency. Stomach pain along with pressure in your chest or pain radiating from your chest could indicate a heart attack. 

Pregnant women with severe abdominal pain may be experiencing pregnancy complications. Pain following trauma, like a car accident, may also require immediate medical care.

In these situations, don’t wait for an appointment with a doctor. Go to the nearest emergency room or call 911 for immediate medical assistance.

When abdominal pain is persistent, intense, or accompanied by other symptoms, it’s important to seek the care of a specialist. Call our office in Peoria, Arizona, to learn more about how we treat abdominal pain or send our team a message online today.

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