descending colon

The descending colon is the continuation of the transverse colon after the left colic flexure, where the colon loses its mesentery.

Gross anatomy

The descending colon measures up to 25 cm in length and is secondarily retroperitoneal. It descends down attached to the left posterior abdominal wall into the left iliac fossa where it continues as the sigmoid colon. Peritoneum covers the anterior and lateral surfaces.


Blood supply

Nerve supply

  • sympathetic: inferior mesenteric plexus
  • parasympathetic: via pelvic splanchnic nerves (S2-S4)

Lymphatic drainage

Lymphatics travel with vessels to the inferior mesenteric group.

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