Community

What is severe colonic dilatation?

Megacolon is an abnormal dilation of the colon (also called the large intestine).The dilation is often accompanied by a paralysis of the peristaltic movements of the bowel. In more extreme cases, the feces consolidate into hard masses inside the colon, called fecalomas (literally, fecal tumor), which can require surgery to be removed.

A human colon is considered abnormally enlarged if it has a diameter greater than 12 cm in the cecum (it is usually less than 9 cm), greater than 6.5 cm in the rectosigmoid region and greater than 8 cm for the ascending colon. The transverse colon is usually less than 6 cm in diameter.