Redundant Colon: What Is It?
The word “redundant” comes from Latin meaning “to be able to do again”. In other words, it means having multiple uses or functions. For example, there are many times when you need to use your phone but don’t have time to take out your wallet because you’re busy with something else. You could say that you have several uses for your phone.
In medical terms, redundancy refers to the fact that one organ or part of an organ may perform two or more functions. The term is used in medicine to refer to organs and parts which may function without causing problems such as in the case of heart valves, lungs, kidneys, or hearts.
When a person has multiple redundant organs, the result is called multi-organ failure (MFO). MFO occurs when some of these organs fail due to damage caused by disease or injury. Multi-organ failure can occur even if only one organ fails. However, the risk increases dramatically when all three or four of the body’s major organs are affected.
A number of conditions cause multiple organ failure including cancer, infections, trauma and aging. The earlier the disease or condition is detected, the greater the chance of survival.
Does Redundant Colon Exist?
One of the most common redundant organs is the colon (large intestine). In this case it serves two functions: to absorb water and salt (the small intestine) and to store waste (the large intestine). The jejunum and ileum are the two parts of the small intestines. The small intestines absorb nutrients and water from food; part of which is then passed to the large intestine.
During a colonoscopy, several parts of the large and small intestines are inspected for any irregularities (disease or damage) such as adhesions, polyps, ulcers, and tumors. If any of these are found during the colonoscopy procedure, they can be removed during the procedure.
The colon is part of the digestive system and consists of the large intestine and the small intestine. The small intestine is about 20 feet long and about an inch in diameter. The large intestine is about five feet long and about an inch and a half in diameter. The large intestine absorbs water from the waste matter, making it solid.
This solid waste moves to the rectum where it is stored until a person goes to the bathroom.
The colon and rectum form the last part of the large intestine or colon. Waste material passes from the cecum into the colon, which is a hollow tube about 3 to 5 feet long and about an inch and a quarter in diameter. It absorbs water from the waste material, making the waste material solid. This solid waste is stored in the rectum until a person has a bowel movement.
The large intestine does not eliminate wastes, it stores them. The waste material remains in the large intestine until a person has a bowel movement (B.M.).
Then it moves into the rectum and is eliminated from the body through the process of defecation.
If there are any problems with the large intestine, such as a blockage or other bowel abnormality, then waste material may not be eliminated from the body properly (incontinence).
The large intestine has an inner and an outer layer of muscular walls. These layers contract and move the waste material through the large intestine at a rate of about 1 to 2 feet per hour.
The large intestine is sometimes called the colon. It consists of five parts: (1) cecum, (2) ascending colon, (3) transverse colon, (4) descending colon, and (5) rectum.
The waste material passes through the colon and rectum to exit the body during a bowel movement. The rectum is about four inches long and has the same diameter as the large intestine.
The lower end of the spinal cord ends at the second Lumbar vertebra (L2). This is called the conus medullaris. Nerve cells continue to send messages down from the brain to muscles and skin below this level.
Sources & references used in this article:
Redundant colon as a cause of constipation by P Brummer, P Seppälä, U Wegelius – Gut, 1962 – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
Colon lengthening slows transit: is this the mechanism underlying redundant colon or slow transit constipation? by BR Southwell – The Journal of physiology, 2010 – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
Spiral overtube–assisted colonoscopy after incomplete colonoscopy in the redundant colon by DB Schembre, AS Ross, MN Gluck… – Gastrointestinal …, 2011 – Elsevier
Surgical treatment of the redundant interposed colon after retrosternal esophagoplasty by L Bonavina, B Chella, A Segalin, S Luzzani – The Annals of thoracic surgery, 1998 – Elsevier
The redundant colon by PF Moller – Acta Radiologica, 1926 – Taylor & Francis
Surgical management of the redundant transposed colon by M Schein, AA Conlan… – … journal of surgery, 1990 – americanjournalofsurgery.com