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You have a stomach ache.

If you're one of the millions of people who experience complex abdominal pain from issues like Crohn's disease, diverticulitis, or pancreatitis, our expert physicians and surgeons may be able to help.

Complex abdominal pain at Dignity Health Arizona

Abdominal pain has many potential causes — such as gas pains, indigestion or a pulled muscle — most of which aren't considered serious.  However, complex abdominal pain can be very serious and may require urgent medical attention. 

The conditions that cause acute abdominal pain are usually accompanied by other symptoms that develop over hours to days. Causes can range from minor conditions that resolve without any treatment, like a common stomach ache, to more serious medical emergencies. Chronic abdominal pain is often difficult to determine and symptoms may range from mild to severe, coming and going but not necessarily worsening over time. 

Abdominal pain that steadily worsens over time is called progressive and is often accompanied by the development of other symptoms. It is usually serious. 

Causes of chronic abdominal pain

  • Angina
  • Celiac disease
  • Endometriosis
  • Gallstones
  • Gastritis
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Ulcerative colitis

Causes of progressive abdominal pain

  • Cancer
  • Crohn's disease
  • Gallbladder cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Non-hodgkin's lymphoma
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Stomach cancer

We can help you find the ongoing care you need.

When to see a doctor

Make an appointment with your doctor if your abdominal pain worries you or lasts more than a few days, and always seek help if your abdominal pain is severe and is associated with trauma, such as accident or injury or if you have pain or pressure in your chest. Seek immediate care if you have: 

  • Severe pain
  • Persistent nausea and vomiting
  • Skin that appears yellow
  • Severe tenderness when you touch your abdomen
  • Swelling of the abdomen

What to expect

Dignity Health Arizona has specialists treating the various causes of abdominal pain. You may begin your journey to finding relief by seeing one of expert providers at Dignity Health Medical Group Arizona. There they will assess your symptoms and treat your pain. If the pain requires further treatment, you may be referred to one of the Dignity Health Arizona hospitals or the Dignity Health Cancer Institute for more advanced treatment including surgery.

Types of surgery for complex abdominal pain


Dignity Health Arizona also offers the following:

Dignity Health Cancer Institute at St. Joseph's

The cancer institute, located on the campus of the Phoenix Biomedical Campus, offers world-class cancer treatment built around you. Our team approach allows for multiple specialties to provide input, enabling us to create a treatment plan tailored for your unique needs.

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Dignity Health Arizona offers complex abdominal pain treatment at these hospitals:

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Complex abdominal pain treatment at Dignity Health Medical Group Arizona

Our primary care and internal medicine providers along with our gastroenterology specialists and more are ready to see you and treat you for your abdominal pain.