Rectum - definition and function

Rectum - definition and function

Rectum - the segment of the COLON between the sigmoid colon and the ANUS. About six inches long, the rectum retains solid digestive waste until a BOWEL MOVEMENT expels it. The SPINAL CORD regulates the NERVE impulses that initiate the reflexive contractions of the rectum that result in bowel movements. The walls of the rectum are smooth and flexible, allowing it to expand to accommodate collected fecal material. The rectum is a frequent site of intestinal polyps and is vulnerable to CANCER. Other health conditions that can involve the rectum include ulcerative COLITIS, Crohn’s disease, and DIVERTICULAR DISEASE.

COMMON CONDITIONS THAT CAN AFFECT THE RECTUM
COLITIS COLORECTAL CANCER
CONSTIPATION DIARRHEA
DIVERTICULAR DISEASE FAMILIAL ADENOMATOUS POLYPOSIS (FAP)
FECAL IMPACTION HIRSCHSPRUNG’S DISEASE
INTESTINAL POLYP PROCTITIS
RECTAL FISTULA RECTAL PROLAPSE
RECTOCELE SPINAL CORD INJURY

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

See also BARIUM ENEMA; CECUM; COLONOSCOPY; COLOSTOMY; CYSTIC FIBROSIS; DIGITAL RECTAL EXAMINATION (DRE); ENDOSCOPY; ENEMA; FECAL INCONTINENCE; INTESTINAL POLYP; SMALL INTESTINE.

Open discussion on the topic Rectum - definition and function


only title   fulltext  

The Gastrointestinal System

Top articles on health