Scientists have discovered a new human organ that connects the intestine to the abdomen.
Impressive as it sounds, the new single organ is called the Mesentery.
Amazingly, the discovery of this human organ has now rewritten 100 years of medical understanding about abdominal and digestive diseases.
You might be wondering how possible this could be. You might also be inquisitive to know if mesentery is found only in newborns. Do not worry your head because mesentery has always been in you; performing important functions that affect systems throughout the body, from cardiovascular to immunological.
According to Professor Calvin Coffey, who made the discovery, the newly discovered organ which is attached to the stomach, small intestine, pancreas and other organs to the abdomen, was long thought to be made up of separate structures and hasn’t been acknowledged as such to date.
“The anatomic description that had been laid down over 100 years of anatomy was incorrect. This organ is far from fragmented and complex. It is simply one continuous structure,” he added.
Coffey, a surgeon at the University of Limerick, was able to establish the anatomy and structure of the mesentery, with the aid of images and compiling research to show that the organ’s continuity can be seen only when it’s exposed in a certain way.
The professor described the organ as having a spiral formation in the abdomen and packaged along a spinal trajectory – starting in the upper abdomen and ending in the pelvis.
“In between, it fans out, like a Chinese fan, to span the length of the intestine from the upper small intestine to the end of the large bowel,” he said.
Functions Of The Mesentery
The mesentery links the human gut to the rest of the body. It carries blood and lymphatic fluid between the intestine and the rest of the body. The organ also maintains the position of the intestine; so that it’s connected with the abdominal wall without being in direct contact.
The Mesentery was mentioned by Leonardo da Vinci. He even described it in 1508. It was also mentioned and described in 1878 by Carl Toldt but his research was largely ignored.
Following the finding, the go-to medical textbook of students worldwide – Gray’s Anatomy – has been updated. Medical students around the world will now learn about the mesentery as a continuous organ.
Conclusively, the mesentery is a fold of the peritoneum membrane attached to the stomach, small intestine, pancreas and other organs to the abdomen. The organ now increases the number of human organs from 78 to 79.