The large intestine extends from the end of the ileum to the anus.
It is about 1.5 meters long, being one-fifth of the whole extent of the intestinal canal.
Its caliber is largest at its commencement at the cecum, and gradually diminishes as far as the rectum, where there is a dilatation of considerable size just above the anal canal.
It differs from the small intestine in its greater caliber, its more fixed position, its sacculated form, and in possessing certain appendages to its external coat, the appendices epiploicæ. Further, its longitudinal muscular fibers do not form a continuous layer around the gut, but are arranged in threelongitudinal bands or tæniæ.
The large intestine, in its course, describes an arch which surrounds the convolutions of the small intestine. It commences in the right iliac region, in a dilated part, the cecum. It ascends through the right lumbar and hypochondriac regions to the under surface of the liver; it here takes a bend, the right colic flexure, to the left and passes transversely across the abdomen on the confines of the epigastric and umbilical regions, to the left hypochondriac region; it then bends again, the left colic flexure, and descends through the left lumbar and iliac regions to the pelvis, where it forms a bend called the sigmoid flexure; from this it is continued along the posterior wall of the pelvis to the anus.
The large intestine is divided into the cecum, colon, rectum, and anal canal.