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Human Anatomy

Illustration of the human colon

Picture of the Colon

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The colon is also called the large intestine. The ileum (last part of the small intestine) connects to the cecum (first part of the colon) in the lower right abdomen. The rest of the colon is divided into four parts:

• The ascending colon travels up the right side of the abdomen.
• The transverse colon runs across the abdomen.
• The descending colon travels down the left abdomen.
• The sigmoid colon is a short curving of the colon, just before the rectum.

The colon removes water, salt, and some nutrients forming stool. Muscles line the colon's walls, squeezing its contents along. Billions of bacteria coat the colon and its contents, living in a healthy balance with the body.

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