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Colorectal Diseases

Tortuous Colon?

02/21/2005

Question:

My mother has a `tortuous colon` and has to have a major part of it removed. What is it? What causes it? She is impacted due to constipation for years and believes that is what caused her problem. Will it be likely that she needs a colostomy?

Answer:

A "tortuous colon" is one that is very elongated- which can cause or be the result of years of constipation. Make sure your mother has her pelvic floor tested to make sure it is functioning normally before she agrees to have her colon removed. She needs to be assured that she does not have "non-relaxing puborectalis" or "anismus", because if she has either of these conditions, removing her colon will not make her constipation better.

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Response by:

Janice Frederick Rafferty, MD Janice Frederick Rafferty, MD
Professor of Surgery
Chief of Colorectal Surgery Division
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati