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The large intestine

The large intestine

Overview

The large intestine (or colon, or large bowel) is the last structure to process food, taking the undigestible matter from the small intestine, absorbing water from it and leaving the waste product called feces. Feces are expelled from the body through the rectum and the anus.

Review Date 3/12/2019

Updated by: Debra G. Wechter, MD, FACS, general surgery practice specializing in breast cancer, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.