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What are Different Types of Abdominal Injuries?

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  • Written By: Patti Kate
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 28 October 2016
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Abdominal injuries may be caused by blunt force trauma or an injury that penetrates the abdominal wall. Some abdominal injuries are caused by contact sports, while others are a result of automobile accidents, to name a few. Abdominal injuries may also be classified as closed and open injuries, depending on whether the skin has been penetrated or pierced. Other types of abdominal injuries may involve major organs such as the liver and spleen.

Physicians may make an abdominal injuries diagnosis by performing a scan of the abdomen. If a patient has received force blunt trauma, either through physical assault or accident, his symptoms may require a procedure known as a computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). These procedures make it possible to recognize internal injuries and bleeding that would otherwise go undetected. CT scans take merely a few minutes to complete, while an MRI may take a half hour or longer.

A ruptured spleen is a type of abdominal injury that often requires surgery. This type of abdominal injury is also referred to as a splenic rupture, and it is most commonly caused through blunt force. The spleen is an elongated organ located in the upper left region of the abdomen. This organ works primarily in conjunction with the body's immune system to guard against foreign material and pathogens.

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Trauma surgeons typically perform procedures on patients with splenic ruptures. Left untreated, the ruptured spleen may lead to extensive internal bleeding and shock. Hemorrhaging occurs due to the vast amount of blood this organ filters. An injury of this nature could be life threatening in many cases. Surgical treatment for a ruptured spleen typically involves removing the damaged organ and stopping any internal bleeding.

Any type of penetrating injury to the abdomen may cause extensive internal bleeding. Another, related type of abdominal injury is a strangulated bowel. Strangulated hernias are other types of abdominal injuries. In some cases, a hernia becomes strangulated if left untreated over a long period of time.

An example of a penetrating injury to the abdomen is one resulting from a gunshot wound. This may cause hemorrhaging and rupture or damage to internal organs, such as the liver or the spleen. A perforated liver may result from the trauma of a gunshot or stabbing knife wound. Common symptoms of internal injuries are nausea or vomiting, weakness, and pain or tenderness around the abdomen.

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