Physical examination

Following the review of the patient’s medical history, the doctor will perform a complete physical examination as part of the process of determining the cause of the patient’s swelling.

The physical examination will focus on changes in the skin and visible mucous membranes. These will be evaluated for certain characteristics:

  • Is a clearly defined area affected?
  • Are the changes recurrent?
  • Is there evidence of urticaria or allergies?
  • Do the changes cause itching?
  • Is there evidence of erythema marginatum?

In patients with gastrointestinal complains (pain, nausea, vomiting) the entire abdomen will be examined by means of palpation and percussion, and the bowel sounds will be auscultated. In some cases, patients will be advised to undergo endoscopy in order to rule out other causes for their symptoms.

Patients with a history of swelling of the larynx will undergo laryngoscopy in order to assess changes in this area.