The Valves of Houston

The Valves of Houston are interesting anatomical structures, unique to humans, located in our rectums.  They were first described by Irish/British Anatomist John Houston in 1830.  They are permanent, transverse or semicircular folds designed to support the weight of the feces when it is directed into the rectum, thus slowing the exit.  There are usually 3, although there are sometimes 2 or 4 present.  They are so good at what they do that they provide significant resistance to a practitioner inserting a colonoscope to examine the colon.   Practitioners often say, “a considerable amount of maneuvering” is required to get the scope beyond their location in order to visualize colon.  Below is a picture of the Valves of Houston for your viewing pleasure.  By the way, this seemingly random post was inspired by the Houston Astros’ victory in the World Series 🙂  Cheers!

One thought on “The Valves of Houston”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *