Abdominal Pain Specialist

General Surgical Care P.C.

General Surgeons located in Bethlehem, PA

Everyone has experienced some type of abdominal pain, whether from a stomach ache, cramps, or an ongoing aching pain. When abdominal pain is sudden and severe, it’s usually caused by a problem that requires urgent care and surgical treatment. Dr. Mark Schadt and Dr. Richard Conron, Jr. at General Surgical Care have the expertise to perform the minimally-invasive or open surgery you need to return to health. If you have questions or would like more information about their services, please call their office in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania or schedule an appointment online for a consultation.

Abdominal Pain Q & A

What causes abdominal pain?

Abdominal pain can be caused by anything on a long list of possible health conditions and injuries, ranging from those that resolve on their own in a few days to problems that are life-threatening. Most abdominal pain, however, develops from one of three primary causes:

  • Inflammation or an infection, such as appendicitis
  • Obstruction, such as inadequate blood flow or blocked gallbladder ducts
  • Hemorrhage or vascular problem, such as an abdominal aortic aneurysm

When diagnosing abdominal pain, doctors begin by evaluating the location, type, severity, and frequency of your pain. Depending on the suspected causes, they order lab work or imaging tests to confirm a diagnosis.

When should you seek help for abdominal pain?

Acute abdominal pain-- pain that develops quickly -- represents a serious threat to your health. Seek medical help if you experience:

  • Severe pain
  • Fever
  • Bloody stools
  • Nausea, fever, or vomiting
  • Skin that looks yellow
  • Severe tenderness when touching abdomen

You should also consult your doctor about chronic pain or pain that becomes progressively worse. This type of pain may arise from potentially serious problems including hernia, pelvic inflammatory disease, gastritis, tumors, or cancer.

What sources of abdominal pain require surgical intervention?

Surgeons are quickly consulted when patients present with an acute abdomen because it often requires urgent surgical intervention.

Some of the most common sources of abdominal pain that require surgery include:

  • Appendicitis
  • Diverticulitis
  • Pancreatitis
  • Gallstones
  • Hernia
  • Kidney stones
  • Cholecystitis
  • Ruptured spleen
  • Intestinal obstruction

How is surgery for abdominal pain performed?

The type of surgery is determined by the underlying cause and the severity of your condition. For appendicitis or gallstones, the organ is removed. If you have a hernia, the abdominal wall must be repaired, and mesh may be inserted to reinforce muscles.

The doctors at General Surgical Care are experts in laparoscopic and open surgery. Whenever possible, they correct the source of abdominal pain using laparoscopic surgery because it’s minimally invasive, has fewer complications, and promotes rapid recovery.

Laparoscopic surgery is minimally invasive because the surgery is done using a few small incisions and specialized instruments attached to long, thin devices that are inserted through the tiny incisions.

One of the instruments, the laparoscope, provides a clear, three-dimensional view of the surgery site. Then your surgeon controls other devices equipped with tools to remove or repair organs and tissues.

Other treatments are also provided using laparoscopic instruments. For example, your surgeon can stop bleeding, insert a stent, and remove cysts and tumors.