Figure 2-3. Abdomen landmarks.
(4) Inspection. Inspection or observation of the patient's abdomen is crucial.
Look for the following:
(a) Distended abdominal veins (ascites)--indicated by an obstruction of
the portal vein or vena cava.
(b) Spider nevi--indicated by dilated capillaries resembling a spider.
(c) Herniation--the protrusion of a structure through the peritoneum
within the abdominal wall.
(e) Distention (ascites or gas)--indicated by tight, glistening prominent
veins or umbilical protrusion.