Cecum - definition and function

Cecum - definition and function

Cecum - the first segment of the COLON (large intestine) into which the ILEUM, the final segment of the SMALL INTESTINE, empties digestive matter. The cecum is a pouchlike structure located in the lower right abdomen that absorbs water from the waste, returning fluid to the body and consolidating the waste for its journey through the end stage of digestion. The rhythmic contractions of PERISTALSIS move the remaining solid waste into the remainder of the colon. The APPENDIX extends from the bottom of the cecum.

For further discussion of the cecum and the colon within the context of gastrointestinal structure and function, please see the overview section “The Gastrointestinal System.”

See also ANUS; RECTUM.

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The Gastrointestinal System

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