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Updated: April 8, 2007

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Illustration by Donna Myers © 2007

The cecum marks the beginning of the large intestine and is basically a big pouch that receives waste material from the small intestine.

Anatomy of the Cecum

The cecum is about six centimeters (cm) long and 7.5 cm wide. The ileum (of the small intestine) dumps waste material into the cecum and the cecum passes it on to the colon, specifically the ascending colon. It doesn't do so through a little tube; the cecum is continuous with the colon.

If you look at a picture of the cecum and see a little squiggly thing hanging from it, you're looking at the appendix.

To learn more about colorectal anatomy, please take a look at the Anatomy of the Large Intestine gallery.

  1. Cecum. Merriam-Webster Online. 11 Sep. 2006 [http://m-w.com/dictionary/cecum].
  2. Cecum. Wikipedia. 9 Sep. 2006. 11 Sep. 2006 [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caecum].
  3. The Large Intestine. Gray's Anatomy. 11 Sep. 2006 [http://www.bartleby.com/107/249.html].
Also Known As: intestinum caecum
Alternate Spellings: caecum

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