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Large intestine

Large intestine

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Large intestine: important functions in the human body.


The large intestine is one of several organs that make up the digestive system, and is located in the final portion of the tract.

It performs several functions, and has anatomical differences when compared to the other members of the set.

Which is?

It is a tube formed by several tissues, approximately 1.5 meters long, started at the end of the small intestine (in the ileum portion), ending at the anus (structure responsible for eliminating feces).

Divisions (parts)

The large intestine is divided into 3 parts:

1) Cecum: is its initial portion, and contains a very important structure called the vermiform appendix.

2) Lap: subdivides into ascending, transverse and descending. It is formed by haustros, which are pockets and bulges that allow their distension. In addition, externally, it has muscle strains, called tapeworms.

3) Straight: It is the smallest structure, approximately 15 cm long, and its function is to conduct and store the feces.

How is it formed?

It is known for its horseshoe shape, and differs from the small intestine in numerous ways, one of which is that it has few villi.

Speaking of its histology, it has a simple columnar epithelium with goblet cells, which have mucus to facilitate the passage of stool. In addition, it is formed by 3 layers: the mucosa, submucosa and muscle.

Blood is supplied by both the superior and inferior mesenteric arteries and veins.

It has two anatomical points of surgical importance, which are: hepatic and splenic flexure.

It is innervated by the autonomic (involuntary) system and receives both sympathetic and parasympathetic fibers, which translates into control of reduction and increase of its motility and secretion.

What are your duties?

It is an extremely important organ for the digestive system and for the organism as a whole, because:

- Absorbs water and electrolytes from fecal content before it is eliminated from the body.

- Compact the feces and store them until defecation;

- Absorbs vitamins that are locally produced by bacteria.

In addition, it is rich in lymphatic tissue due to the large development of bacteria in this location.


- Colonoscopy is an imaging exam that allows the visualization of the entire large intestine through the insertion of a camera instrument through the anal canal.

- Appendicitis is a clinical condition manifested by severe abdominal pain and due to an appendix infection. It is often caused by fecal obstruction (a small portion of the stool), and requires surgical intervention.