Anatomy and physiology of the rectum and anus

Eur J Surg. 1997 Oct;163(10):723-31.


Anorectal physiology is complex and involves the interaction of multiple mechanisms. Advances in physiological testing have led to a great deal of research, which has increased our knowledge of normal and disordered physiology, and modified our therapeutic approach. As a consequence, many concepts in anatomy have been revised. We have reviewed aspects of the anatomy and physiology of the rectum and anus together with the applications of the new concepts.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anal Canal / anatomy & histology
  • Anal Canal / physiology
  • Humans
  • Rectum / anatomy & histology*
  • Rectum / physiology*