Cecum and appendix | Acland's Video Atlas of Human Anatomy Skip to main content


Now we'll move on to look at the large intestine, where water and electrolytes are absorbed from the intestinal contents, the contents changing from liquid to semi-solid in the process. The large intestine consists of the cecum and appendix, the colon, the rectum, and the anal canal.

The cecum is a blind side passage at the beginning of the large intestine. It hangs downward in the right iliac fossa, lying almost free of peritoneal attachments. Here's the appendix, sometimes called the vermiform appendix. It's a vestigial but potentially troublesome structure. It can lie in a variety of positions. This is its most usual location.

Here's a dissection of the terminal, ileum, cecum and appendix that's been opened longitudinally. The ileum projects a long way into the lumen of the cecum, opening at the ileo-cecal valve here. It's suspended by these two folds of mucosa. Despite its name and valve-like arangement, this opening is not an effective one-way valve. The appendix opens into the cecum below the ileo-cecal valve. Here's its opening.

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