Location of the Transverse Colon in Relationship to the Umbilicus: Implications for Laparoscopic Techniques

Sam S. Chee, Ciaire D. Godfrey, Jean A. Hurteau, Jeanne M. Schilder, Jeffrey M. Rothenberg, William W. Hurd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Study Objective. To establish the location of the transverse colon in relationship to the umbilicus, and determine if it varies as a function of patient height or weight. Design. Retrospective review of computed tomograms (CT) of the abdomen (Canadian Task Force classification 11-2). Setting. University hospital. Patients. Sixty-seven women with normal abdominal anatomy. Intervention. Review of abdominal CT scans. Measurements and Main Results. The relative relationships of the transverse colon and umbilicus were compared with age, height, weight, and body mass index (BMI = kg/m2) using multiple regression analysis. Average location of the superior margin of the transverse colon was 4.6 cm (95% CI 3.5-5.7 cm) above the umbilicus. In nine (13%) women it was below the umbilicus. The colon was below the umbilicus in 25% of nonobese women (BMI < 25 kg/m2). Conclusion. Because the transverse colon lies below the umbilicus in more than 10% of women, injury to it may be an uncommon yet unavoidable complication of laparoscopy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)385-388
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1998


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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