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Ask the Expert: Chronic Abdominal and Pelvic Pain
Wednesday, August 21, 2013 - 12 Noon (Eastern Time)

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Bruce Vrooman, MD

  • Anesthesiology Institute
  • Department of Pain Management
  • Cleveland Clinic

Chronic abdominal pain and chronic pelvic pain (CPP) can arise from many contributing factors or medical conditions. When the cause of the pain is known, your primary care physician, gastroenterologist or surgeon may treat the condition and, subsequently, the pain. But other times, despite an extensive work-up by these teams, the cause of the pain may not be clear, but the pain may be debilitating just the same. Patients with abdominal pain may then be referred to a pain management clinic for evaluation and treatment, whether from a known or unknown cause.

Chronic abdominal pain, also known as chronic functional abdominal pain, is pain caused by an unexplained source. Chronic abdominal pain is the diagnosis when appendicitis, aortic dissection, aortic aneurysm, ulcers, Crohn’s disease, colon cancer, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), diverticulitis and other diagnoses have been ruled out.

Chronic pelvic pain (CPP) is defined as nonmenstrual pelvic pain of more than three months’ duration that is severe enough to cause functional disability, and require medical or surgical treatment. Its hallmark is deep-seated, aching pain that often interferes with sleep and work, leads to urinary urgency and frequency, and causes pain with sex and/or urination. Some sources of chronic pelvic pain that can be diagnosed include endometriosis and interstitial cystitis.

Take this opportunity and have your questions answered by our specialist, Bruce Vrooman, MD. Dr. Vrooman will discuss different types and causes of abdominal pain, how pain affects quality of life, ways to measure pain, and how best to communicate your experience of pain with your health care providers, family, and others.

Bruce Vrooman, MD is board-certified in pain management and anesthesiology. His specialty interests include abdominal and pelvic pain, back and neck pain, cancer pain, complex regional pain syndrome, interventional pain management for back and neck pain, management of chronic pain, neuropathic, pelvic pain, reflex sympathetic dystrophy, and spine pain.

Dr. Vrooman completed his fellowship in pain management at Cleveland Clinic. He completed his residency in pain management at Boston University Medical Center after graduating from medical school at Eastern Virginia Medical School, in Norfolk, Va.

To make an appointment with Bruce Vrooman, MD, or any other specialist in our Department of Pain Management at Cleveland Clinic, please call 216.444.PAIN. You can also visit us online at www.clevelandclinic.org/painmanagement

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