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Redundant colon: A health concern?

What are the health implications of a redundant colon?

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Mayo Clinic gastroenterologist Michael Picco, M.D., and colleagues answer select questions from readers.

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Illustration of redundant colon Redundant colon
Illustration of normal colon Normal colon

The term "redundant colon" describes a large intestine (colon) that is longer than normal and as a result has repetitive, overlapping loops. Typically, this is a normal anatomic variation. It usually causes no symptoms and needs no treatment. A redundant colon may be found incidentally on a colon X-ray (barium enema) done for some other reason. Rarely, it causes a serious complication if it twists around itself (volvulus) and obstructs the colon. This causes cramping abdominal pain and usually warrants prompt medical attention.

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Sep 29, 2007