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Large bowel

Synonym: Intestinum crassum, large intestine
German: Dickdarm

1 Definition

Large bowel refers to the terminal portion of the intestine, extending from the ileocaecal valve (ileocaecal sphincter) to the anus.

2 Anatomy

The large bowel consists of the following sections:

The transition from the ascending colon to the transverse colon is known as the right colic flexure, the transition from the transverse colon to the descending colon as theleft colic flexure. The portions of the colon are approximately 150 cm long altogether and form a network-like structure around the small intestine in the abdominal cavity.

The large intestine, in contrast to the small intestine has no villi. The surface enlargement of the organ is formed by crypts and haustrasacculations, which are folds irradiating into the lumen plicae semilunares coli.

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The functions of the large bowel are the reabsorption of water and the thickening of the stools or faeces. The large bowel is densely populated by bacteria.

3 Investigative procedures

4 Clinical

The diseases of the large bowel fall into the specialist areas of gastroenterology and abdominal surgery. They include, among others:

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