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Presentation: Flexible Sigmoidoscopy
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Reviewed By: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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It is important for you to know a few things about your colon and its function. The colon, also known as the large intestine, is part of the digestive system or food pathway.
When you eat, food travels from the mouth into the stomach through a hollow tube called the esophagus. From the stomach, food enters the small intestine, another hollow organ where digestion and absorption of nutrients occurs. The food particles or debris that are not absorbed leave the small intestine and enter the colon or large intestine.
The colon is another tube that is divided into four sections: The first section is called the ascending or rising colon. It is located on the right side of the abdomen and extends upward. The second section is called the transverse or cross colon since it goes across the body to the left side. There it joins the third section, the descending or downward colon, which continues down on the left side until it reaches the fourth section, known as the sigmoid colon for its S-shape. The sigmoid colon joins the rectum, which in turn joins the anus, or the opening where waste matter, bowel movements or stool pass out of the body.
The colon's main function is to remove water from your body's waste matter, recycle this water back to your body and then clear the remaining waste or stool from your body in the form of bowel movements.

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