In medicine, palpation (from Latin palpare , "to stroke") is the examination of the body through touch , that is, through the use of various qualities of the sense of touch . Palpation is one of the oldest diagnostic procedures already handed down in ancient Egyptian papyri and, like inspection , auscultation and percussion, is part of the physical examination in medicine .
The so-called palpation can be done with one or more fingers as well as with the palm. Palpation with both hands is called a bimanual palpation . It is mostly used to bring an organ - for example the spleen or the uterus - closer to the examining hand with one hand.
Among other things, the following are palpated:
- the skin (skin folds, elasticity, swellings, temperature, trigeminal pressure points )
- the rib cage (for example, vocal freshness and heartbeat )
- Eyeball for orienting assessment of intraocular pressure
- Belly or lower abdomen to assess pathological processes in the abdomen
- female breast - mainly in the week after the menstrual period ;
- Uterus (womb) - especially its increase in size during pregnancy
- Liver - mainly to assess its size and consistency
- (enlarged) lymph nodes in different regions of the body to help identify inflammation or tumors
- Pulse on different arteries
- (enlarged) thyroid gland ( goiter )
- Salivary glands and their excretory ducts - among other things for the detection of stones (see sialadenosis )
- Markwart Michler : The hand as a doctor's tool. A brief history of palpation from its beginnings to the present. Wiesbaden 1972 (= contributions to the history of science and technology. Volume 12).
- Klaus Holldack, Klaus Gahl: Auscultation and percussion. Inspection and palpation. Thieme, Stuttgart 1955; 10th, revised edition ibid 1986, ISBN 3-13-352410-0 , pp. 14-16, 41 f., 46-48, 58 f., 66, 86, 91-95, 97-101, 150, 156 , 160, 164, 167 f., 173-177. 180, 182, 184-186, 190 f., 193, 206-211, 214, 216, 219-221, 227, 238-265.
- Markwart Michler: The palpation in the corpus hippocracticum. A contribution to the history of ancient diagnostics , Janus 57 (1970), pp. 261-292.
- Volker Hess: Palpation. In: Werner E. Gerabek , Bernhard D. Haage, Gundolf Keil , Wolfgang Wegner (eds.): Enzyklopädie Medizingeschichte. De Gruyter, Berlin / New York 2005, ISBN 3-11-015714-4 , p. 1093.