We use cookies to track usage and optimise user experience. By continuing to browse and use the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

Aids to approaching the acute abdomen

8th April 2020


Do you find it difficult to make a differential diagnosis in the acute abdomen? Is left iliac fossa pain always either colitis or diverticulitis?

The aim of this talk is to quickly improve your ability to make a diagnosis in the acute abdomen, by thinking of a differential diagnosis and then using your history taking skills to narrow the list down to the most likely diagnosis. From this point you will then learn how clinical examination and relevant investigations can narrow the list further.

Prior to this talk take a few minutes to create your own differential diagnosis list for the following clinical scenario:

"18 year old female presents to the surgical emergency unit with a history of generalised pain that started in the umbilical region and then moved and settled low in the right iliac fossa."

It is deliberately vague!

Think about the questions you might ask in the history to aid in narrowing your list of differential diagnoses. What investigations would help narrow the list further…. The answer is not always "CT abdomen / pelvis”! Log on and join in!


Mr Giles Bond-Smith

Mr Giles Bond-Smith trained in North East London in General Surgery with a specialist interest in HPB. Having moved to Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Mr Bond-Smith has developed his interest in HPB and also Emergency General Surgery. Mr Bond-Smith is currently the Clinical Lead for Emergency General Surgery in Oxford and apart from transforming the Oxford Acute Surgical Emergency Unit he has been at the forefront of developing Emergency General Surgery in Oxford and the UK as one of the founders of the National Forum for Acute Surgery.

Mr Bond-Smith is an active RSA for both the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and the Association of Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland.


Mr Michael Silva

Michael Silva is a Consultant Hepatobiliary, Pancreatic (HPB) and General Surgeon at the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Mr Silva is the Training Programme Director for Higher Surgical Trainees (General Surgery) in the Oxford Deanery - Health Education England - Thames Valley.

Mr Silva is Director of the Surgical Advisory Network in the UK for the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. He also was Regional Surgical Advisor for the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh for Oxfordshire from 2013-2017. He is a Fellow of the Faculty of Surgical Trainers, Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and is also a Clinical Lecturer at Worcester College, Oxford University.


back to top of page