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Surface Anatomy – Large Intestine

by James Pickering, PhD
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    00:01 This lecture we are going to look at the Large Intestine.

    00:06 So like the other lectures, we have looked at so far, we start off by looking at the position of the large intestine within the abdomen and how that projects on to the surface of the skin. And then we are going to explore the Gross Anatomy, we will look at the features like Caecum and Appendix and the various parts that form the Colon.

    00:26 We will look at the location and relations within the abdomen and explore Appendicitis We will look at the wall structure of the Colon and then Diverticulosis.

    00:35 We will also look at the Neurovascular supply.

    00:39 The large intestine is really important in the process of digestion and it is the main site for water reabsorption. It also plays an important part in storing the faeces. As we will see the indigestible remnants of the chyme that pass through the stomach and the small intestine.

    00:59 There it compacts and stores this material prior to defaecation.

    01:06 So if we look at the surface anatomy of the large intestine, then we can see on our torso, that we have this inverted "U" shape You see we have go the ileocecal junction about here, where the distal portions of the Ileum are continuous with the large intestine. And then inferior to that junction we find we have the cecum and the appendix attached. This is low in the right quadrant. So in the right inguinal region of the abdomen. The colon then passes upwards as the ascending colon heads towards the liver. The liver would be round about in this position which we can see in this diagram, here is the liver. And we have got what's known as the Hepatic flexure or what's called here the right colic flexure.

    01:54 Once it's got to the liver, it then takes a sharp 90 degree turn to the left and it runs across the abdomen, it runs towards the spleen.

    02:03 And here we have what's known as the splenic flexure or the left colic flexure.

    02:08 The colon then descends as the descending colon and it passes towards the left inguinal region. Whereas in continuous, we have the sigmoid colon that passes towards the midline. Here what is continuous in the rectum and that is where the majority of these feaces are stored by the defaecation as it then leave via the Anal canal, we will explore that region later on in the separate lecture.

    02:33 So in this diagram, on the opposite site, we can see how this inverted "U" shape large intestine actually fits within the large intestine, we can see we have got this "U" shaped here. And within it we can see the coils of Jejunum and the coils of Ileum.

    02:51 These being continuous from the duodenum which is fed into from the stomach.

    02:56 So here we can see the basic cartoon outline of where the large intestine is orientated.

    03:03 Some key facts in regards the large intestine, as I have mentioned the couple of times now that it is the inverted "U" shape and it has an average length of about 1 and half to 2 meters. It's below the level of the stomach and the liver and it surrounds the small intestine. It begins in the ileocecal junction where the terminal Ileum meets the largest intestine and it ends in the anus which is in the pelvis. Parts of the large intestine can be found in all abdominal regions. So the large intestine is inverted "U" shape can be found in the vast majority of the abdominal regions.

    03:41 And it consists the large intestine of caecum and appendix which we mentioned previously Then it has four parts which constitute the colon: ascending, transverse, descending and sigmoid. And then finally have the rectum which is in continuous with the anal canal, I will look in detail at these parts in the subsequent lecture.

    04:02 The main functions of the large intestine are like I said, to reabsorb water, so this dehydrates the stools. Also it has a role in absorbing vitamins.

    04:11 And it's vital in the compaction and storage of faeces. So let's go onto


    About the Lecture

    The lecture Surface Anatomy – Large Intestine by James Pickering, PhD is from the course Abdomen.


    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Colon.
    2. Duodenum.
    3. Jejunum.
    4. Ileum.
    5. Rectum.
    1. Caecum.
    2. Transverse colon.
    3. Ascending colon.
    4. Ileum.
    5. Sigmoid colon.
    1. Damage to the intestinal mucosa due to enterotoxins.
    2. Decreased osmolarity of chyme entering the large intestine.
    3. Decreased sodium reabsorption by the large intestine.
    4. Active transport of sodium chloride due to gluten consumption.
    5. He might have consumed large amount of water.

    Author of lecture Surface Anatomy – Large Intestine

     James Pickering, PhD

    James Pickering, PhD


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