What causes a twisted cecum?

William B. Salt II., MD

The most common cause of this uncommon condition is a "weakness" in the abdomen from birth (congenital).

The cecum is the first portion of the large bowel (colon) located on the right side of the abdomen. The colon is internally attached to the back of the abdomen with a connection called the mesentery. Some people are born with either an incomplete attachment with the mesentery or an unusually long mesentery. This makes the cecum "floppy" so that it can twist. This twisting of an internal organ is called, volvulus.

Rare causes of a twisted cecum (cecal volvulus) include:

  • Previous surgery involving the cecum
  • Previous surgery for appendicitis
  • Presence of something large in the pelvis, such as a tumor of the ovary or pregnancy
  • Colonoscopy (as a gastroenterologist, I never saw this happen)


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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.