The transverse colon is a long part of the large intestine. Ingested food exits the small intestine and enters the cecum. As digestion continues, the ingested matter moves up the ascending colon and into the transverse colon. During this movement, water is removed and feces forms. This process involves bacteria and a process of fermentation. From there, feces moves through the descending colon and into the rectum, ultimately exiting the body through the anus. Because of its importance, the transverse colon requires a constant supply of oxygenated blood. This comes by way of two arteries. The middle colic artery branches off the superior mesenteric artery, and it serves most of this part of the large intestine. One third also receives oxygenated blood from the inferior mesenteric artery. Like other parts of the large intestine, the transverse colon is susceptible to tumors and the onset of cancer. These cancers may also be preceded by polyps or growths, which would need to be surgically removed.
Written and medically reviewed by the Healthline Editorial Team
In Depth: Transverse colon