©2018 WebMD, Inc. All rights reserved. eMedicineHealth does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. See Additional Information.

Medical Illustrations

Picture of Intestines

Picture of Intestines

The small and large intestines are vital organs for digestion. The small intestine connects the stomach to the large intestine. It is composed of three sections: the duodenum, jejunum, and ileum. After the stomach breaks down the contents of food, it passes into the small intestine where nutrients are absorbed. Waste material passes into the large intestine, which is also called the colon. The large intestine absorbs water from the waste material and forms stool. The latter part of the large intestine is the rectum. As stool forms, nerves in the rectum signal the need to defecate. Stool leaves the body via the opening to the outside, the anus.

Image Source: © 2009 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

Text Reference: "Small and Large Intestine." National Cancer Institute.