Digestive Health

What is a redundant or tortuous colon?

A Answers (1)

  • AAnthony Komaroff, MD, Internal Medicine, answered
    The colon is essentially a tube, about five feet long, that connects the small intestine to the anus. It receives undigested food and secretions from the small intestine and converts these to solid feces by absorbing almost all the fluid that enters it.

    The part of the colon lying in the left side of the abdominal cavity bends into a loop. Because of its shape, it is called the sigmoid colon. Some people have colons with multiple coils. This gives them a more twisted configuration. These are sometimes referred to as "tortuous" or "redundant" colons.

    These twisted colons may pose a challenge for the person doing a colonoscopy. (It may be hard to traverse the organ to its full length.) But colons like these have no health implications. Specifically, there is no hard evidence to suggest that a tortuous colon is a cause of constipation.

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