The doctor observes and palpates (applies pressure by touch) different parts of the body in order to identify any variations from normal size, feel, and texture of an organ or tissue.
The doctor also palpates the lymph nodes in the neck, under the arms, and in the groin, looking for enlargement.
The doctor looks for signs of bruising and tissue swelling as well as bleeding and gently palpates, or touches, the various facial bones for movement and stability.
As the doctor palpates or feels the child's abdomen, he or she will pay particular attention to the size of the spleen and liver.
During a physical examination, the doctor palpates the abdomen to find tender and painful spots.