Sigmoid colon

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The sigmoid colon (pelvic colon; sigmoid flexure) forms a loop which averages about 40 cm. in length, and normally lies within the pelvis, but on account of its freedom of movement it is liable to be displaced into the abdominal cavity.


It begins at the superior aperture of the lesser pelvis, where it is continuous with the iliac colon, and passes transversely across the front of the sacrum to the right side of the pelvis.

It then curves on itself and turns toward the left to reach the middle line at the level of the third piece of the sacrum, where it bends downward and ends in the rectum. According to Isaac Asimov's book The Human Body, the name sigmoid means "S-shaped."


It is completely surrounded by peritoneum, which forms a mesentery (sigmoid mesocolon), which diminishes in length from the center toward the ends of the loop, where it disappears, so that the loop is fixed at its junctions with the iliac colon and rectum, but enjoys a considerable range of movement in its central portion.


Behind the sigmoid colon are the external iliac vessels, the left Piriformis, and left sacral plexus of nerves.

In front, it is separated from the bladder in the male, and the uterus in the female, by some coils of the small intestine.

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