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Left Lower Abdomen

In left lower abdomen you have the sigmoid colon (other name: descending colon). So this is the reason why cancer of the colon in that area could produce pain; but constipation, ulcerative colitis, diverticulitis or irritable bowel syndrome could also cause pain in that region. In women ovarian cancer or ovarian cysts may produce pain in the region. Women can also get PID (pelvic inflammatory disease) from a Chlamydia or gonorrhea infection or a tubal pregnancy that needs to be diagnosed early to prevent a massive bleed when it ruptures.

Clinical conditions in males

Males have their share of problems: a testicular torsion is a painful condition that will have pain in the testicular area, but will also radiate into the lower left or right abdomen depending on what side it is on. Another typically male problem is an inguinal hernia. In embryonic life the testicles descend through the inguinal canal. This leaves the grown-up man with a certain weakness in the inguinal area.  Heavy lifting can rupture the weak abdominal wall internally. If this happens on the left the sigmoid colon attempts to escape the abdominal cavity. In the process the sigmoid colon enters the inguinal canal, but cannot get further. You only have 4 to 6 hours to rescue the gut.

Surgical emergency

A surgeon has to see the patient and move the sigmoid back into the abdominal cavity and surgically close the hole in the abdominal wall to prevent future problems. Unfortunately this often happens in older men when the connective tissue is weaker. In this age group this type of surgery has more complications than in a younger age.

Other common problems: ileus, adhesions, kidney stone, Crohn’s disease

An ileus can happen with an inguinal hernia where the gut stops working. Sometimes an ileus develops when there had been previous abdominal surgery and a bowel loop (small bowel or large intestine) gets caught in adhesions (=scar tissue) from prior surgery. This is an acute emergency where you need to see a general surgeon.

Abdomen (Cancer Of The Colon)

Abdomen (Cancer Of The Colon)

A kidney stone passing from the left kidney into the bladder may cause labor-like pains. Rhythmic, spasmodic contractions of the ureter are producing  pain in the left abdomen. Crohn’s disease is another bowel disease of both the small and the large intestine that can cause pain wherever it is active including the left lower abdomen.

Last modified: August 26, 2018

This outline is only a teaching aid to patients and should stimulate you to ask the right questions when seeing your doctor. However, the responsibility of treatment stays in the hands of your doctor and you.


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