Have you ever wondered whether what links the abdomen to the intestine? Well, it’s a single new organ called ‘the Mesentery’. This organ has always been there in the body performing the vital functions which affects the bodily system, right from immunological to cardiovascular.
The mesentery is a connected organ and not a disjointed group of separate parts which it was earlier misunderstood for and a theory believed ever since the 19th century. Leonardo da Vinci portrayed it as one conterminous organ, and it stayed that way for several centuries until 1885, when Sir Frederick Treves’ discovery showed the mesentery as a fragmented amongst the sigmoid colon, transverse colon and small intestine.
An Irish surgeon Dr. J. Calvin Coffey’s discovery overturned all of the medical belief and might result in improvements in digestive surgery and recovery. Coffey who is the foundation chair of surgery at the University of Limerick, is reclassifying this specific part of the digestive system as a contiguous organ. In the latest study, Coffey has demonstrated the anatomy and the structure of the Mesentery with the help of images and putting together research to prove that the continuity of the organ can be seen only when it is exposed in a certain way.
Even though this organ has no identifiable functioning, looking at its structure, the university stated that it is a breakthrough for better understanding the organ. It is also said that an in-depth research might result in less invasive surgeries, shorter patient recovery, reduced complications and will make it cost efficient.
The discovery mentioned that mesentery is placed in a central position in the body, which results in more studies. The finding said, "Whether the mesentery should be viewed as part of the intestinal, vascular, endocrine, cardiovascular or immunological systems is so far unclear," and "as it has important roles in all of them."
Coffey said, "During the initial research, we noticed in particular that the mesentery, which connects the gut to the body, was one contiguous organ."Up to that it was regarded as fragmented, present here, absent elsewhere and a very complex structure. The anatomic description that had been laid down over 100 years of anatomy was incorrect."
He said, the next step would be to identify its function. "If you understand the function you can identify abnormal function, and then you hve disease," he said. "Put them all together and you have the field of mesenteric science... the basis for a whole new area of science."
His research has already initiated in the latest edition of “Grey’s Anatomy” to refer to the mesentery as a continuous organ.
A few of the probable functions that this organ is said to do is, it carries blood and lymphatic fluid between the body and the intestine. Moreover, it maintains the position of the intestine in order to make sure that it is connected along with the abdominal wall without being in direct contact.