Table of Contents
Definition of Colon
The large intestine, which extracts water from and consolidates the waste byproducts of digestion. The colon extends from the ILEUM, the final segment of the SMALL INTESTINE, to the ANUS, the exit from the body for solid digestive waste (feces or stool).
The colon goes up the left side of the abdomen (the ascending colon), across the abdomen at the lower ribs (the transverse colon), and down the right side of the abdomen to about the level of the hip JOINT (the descending colon). The final segments are the sigmoid colon and the RECTUM. The colon is about five feet long in the average adult.
Common conditions affecting the colon
For further discussion of gastrointestinal structure and function, please see the overview section “The Gastrointestinal System.”