A new human organ has been hiding within plain sight this whole time. Laid within our digestive systems, the mesentery was once thought to be made up of fragmented separate structures, but has now been found to be one continuous organ.
What is the mesentry? The mesentery is a double fold of peritoneum (also known as the lining of the abdominal cavity) and it keeps our intestine attached to the wall of the abdomen, which is very important indeed. J Calvin Coffey, one of the researchers from the University Hospital Limerick in Ireland who discovered this organ, couldn’t be more thrilled.
“In the paper, which has been peer reviewed and assessed, we are now saying we have an organ in the body which hasn’t been acknowledged as such to date,” said Coffey.
The distinction that the mesentry is one structure comes after four years of hard work done by Coffey and his research team, and medical textbooks around the world such as Grey’s Anatomy, have already been updated to note this change. Coffey has also said that this could be a whole new area of science.
“Up to now there was no such field as mesenteric science. Now we have established anatomy and the structure. The next step is the function. If you understand the function you can identify abnormal function, and then you have disease. Put them all together and you have the field of mesenteric science… the basis for a whole new area of science.”
Realising that there is a whole new organ in the body could pave the way for less invasive treatments and better diagnosis of digestive system problems. The paper outlining the reasons as to why the mesentry is an organ has been published in one of the world’s top medical journals called The Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology.
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