Chronic Abdominal Pain
Chronic abdominal pain, loosely defined as recurrent episodes of pain occurring at least weekly for 1–2 months, is a common complaint, estimated to affect approximately 20% of school-age children. It results in school absenteeism, family disruption and sometimes depression and anxiety. In the majority of children, chronic abdominal pain is thought to be “functional,” which means there is no objective evidence of an underlying organic disease. Whereas surgeons are the principle caretakers for children with acute abdominal pain, pediatricians and gastroenterologists provide the bulk of care for those with chronic abdominal pain. The primary role for surgeons is to identify and treat the 10–15% of these children who have an underlying organic disorder. Even a surgical evaluation that fails to reveal an organic cause has merit because it provides reassurance to the family and allows the primary care provider to transition from a diagnostic mode to formulation of a treatment plan.
KeywordsIrritable Bowel Syndrome Familial Mediterranean Fever Chronic Abdominal Pain Hereditary Angioedema Alarm Symptom
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