Scientists discover a new organ in the human digestive system.
Professor J Calvin Coffey of Surgery at UL’s Graduate Entry Medical School, discovered a new organ in our digestive system. The next step is understanding its function in the body.
Above, the mesentery was long-believed to be made up of separate structures. Credit University of Limerick
Professor Coffey outlined the evidence for categorising the mesentery as an organ:
“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. When we approach it like every other organ…we can categorise abdominal disease in terms of this organ.”
Better understanding and further scientific study of the mesentery could lead to less invasive surgeries, fewer complications, faster patient recovery and lower overall costs.
According to Professor Coffey, the Foundation Chair of Surgery at UL’s Graduate Entry Medical School and University Hospitals Limerick, mesenteric science is its own specific field of medical study in the same way as gastroenterology, neurology and coloproctology.
“This is relevant universally as it affects all of us. 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,” he said.
The mesentery attaches the stomach, pancreas, small intestine, spleen, and other organs to the abdomen. Credit University of Limerick
source University of Limerick