Understanding The Various Areas Of The Abdomen In Medical Terms, The Organs And Associated Diseases And Conditions Common To Each Area.
These are the 9 areas of the abdomen in medical terms and
what they contain as well as the common causes of pain or illness in each of
these areas or regions of the tummy. You would be use more precise medical terms when describing where your abdominal pain is located.
The human abdomen has been divided into 9 arbitrary regions or areas for ease of description of an area of pain, swelling, injury or incision.
Each of these regions contains a number of organs.
Injury, infection or any other type of disease affecting any of the organ domiciled in an area of the abdomen could cause pain in that vicinity.
A clear understanding of the anatomical boundaries and descriptions of these regions of the abdomen would be helpful in providing a uniform term when such pert of the abdomen is been referred to. It may also help you in being able to communicate more specifically with your healthcare provider when describing you abdominal pain.
Before listing the various areas of the abdomen and the organs found in each, it is important to mention quickly that an organ found in one area of the abdomen could overlap into one or more other areas. An example is the liver, the single largest organ in the body apart from the skin, spreads across three regions of areas of the abdomen.
The nine areas of the human abdomen are:
These Areas of the abdomen have been carved out by drawing straight imaginary lines across the surface of the abdomen – two vertical and two horizontally, cutting the topography of the abdomen into nine parts.
The upper horizontal line is sometimes drawn at a slightly different levels by some doctors, at the level of the midpoint between the tip of the pubic bone in the middle and the mid-line notch at the top of the sternum.
You can see these areas well represented on the picture of the areas of the abdomen on this page.
It is important to mention that sometimes, these arbitrary nine areas of the abdomen, rather than help in enhancing the description of the abdomen, could in fact be a clog and make descriptions clunky.
Some medical authorities instead, prefer to keep thing simple and divide the abdomen into four regions or true quadrants.
These true quadrants of the abdomen are derived by drawing an imaginary vertical line through the surface of the middle of the abdomen, passing from the lower end of the sternum down through the navel or umbilicus to the top of the middle of the pubis.
Another imaginary line, this time horizontal, is drawn from one side of the abdomen to the other side, at the level of the navel of umbilicus.
Which of these descriptions do you find more useful: that of the 9 areas or the 4 quadrants? And why? We would really love to hear your views on the comment box below.
Injury or diseases affecting organs in some of these arbitrary regions of the abdomen could also cause pain in other areas of the body far away from where the diseased organ is.
Such pain caused by injury or disease in one area of the body but felt in another part of the body is called "referred pain".
Common examples of referred pain from abdominal injury or disease process are:
Just as pain could be referred away from the regions of the abdomen from diseases affecting organs in the abdomen, so sometimes, pain can be referred to the regions of the abdomen from disease condition snot emanating from the abdomen.
Examples of such are:
Let us now take a look at each of these areas or regions of the abdomen, the organs found there and common causes of pain in each of them.
Published on the 31st of October 2015 by Abdopain.com Editorial Team under Areas of the Abdomen.
Article was last reviewed on 1st November 2015.