Colon - Definition

May 2017


Definition

The colon, which with the cecum comprises the large intestine, is a part of the digestive system that measures on average 1.5 meters. In the digestive process, it is after the small intestine, after the cecum, and extends through the rectum. It is subdivided in four parts: the ascending colon or right colon, the transverse colon, the descending colon or left colon, and the sigmoid colon. Its principal role is to transit waste material not absorbed by the digestive tube, which are then eliminated during defecation in the form of stools. The colon may be susceptible to several illnesses, such as irritable bowel syndrome, also called spastic colon, and inflammatory sicknesses which are chronic (Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis) or acute (diverticulitis or acute colitis), from the presence of polyps which may sometimes evolve into colon cancer. Symptoms evocative of a colon condition are essentially represented by digestive transit issues such as constipation or diarrhea, abdominal pains and bloating, and the presence of blood in stools. The principal method of its study is colonoscopy, which allows observation directly into the interior of the organ via a mini camera introduced through natural cavities.

Schema

Related

Original article published by . Translated by Jeff. Latest update on August 19, 2014 at 12:39 PM by christelle.b.
This document, titled "Colon - Definition," is available under the Creative Commons license. Any copy, reuse, or modification of the content should be sufficiently credited to CCM Health (health.ccm.net).