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The aetiology of abdominal pain is multiple. For convenience, it is divided up here into the classical groupings, medical and surgical, although most clinicians would recognise that the distinction is somewhat false; the surgeon who ignores medical causes of abdominal pain is as negligent as the medic who ignores the surgical causes.
The division is drawn here to help the reader who may be studying a particular area; other readers may find it more helpful to approach the subject via its characteristics, detailed in the main menu under under abdominal pain.
The aetiology of abdominal pain in children is considered separately.