Your health care provider will examine you and gently push on different areas of your belly. Persons with peritonitis will often tense the abdominal muscles when area is touched. This is called "guarding."
The doctor will note any point tenderness. This is a general term that means you have tenderness in a certain area.
For example, if you have appendicitis, you will likely have point tenderness when a certain part of your belly area is touched. This area is called McBurney's point.
The health care provider will also ask questions about your symptoms and medical history:
- When did the symptoms start?
- Is this the first time you have had such discomfort?
- If not, when does the discomfort tend to occur?
- What other symptoms do you have? For example, do you have:
The following tests may be done:
In some cases, immediate surgery will be needed. This may involve an exploratory laparotomy or an emergency appendectomy.