Did you ever thought about the fact that how are our intestines connected to our abdomen? The Mesentery is the organ that forms a connection here. Do not worry! This is no new organ. It was always there on our body and was performing its functions. Earlier, it was not taken-up as an organ. However, mesentery is now an organ and has an effect on various systems, from immunological to cardiovascular.
Till 1885, it was considered as one contiguous organ as was told by Leonardo da Vinci. Then, Sir Frederick Treves in his findings stated that it was broken among sigmoid colon, small intestine, and transverse colon.
Professor of surgery and researcher at the University of Limerick, Dr. J. Calvin Coffey has recently reclassified it a contiguous organ, which is a part of the digestive system. According to a new study, he has established the structure and composition of the mesentery by using various images. He complied the research for showing the continuity of the organ can only be observed when it becomes visible in a particular manner.
These recent findings are quite similar to those given that were given by Carl Toldt who in 1878 had also said about the existence of the mesentery. However, his research was not given much importance. Treves research was in the support of Henry Grat who wrote about a number of mesenteries in his book ‘Gray’s Anatomy,’ in 1858. And now Coffey has similar thought.
Function of mesentery
The mesentery performs the important task of connecting your gut to the rest of the body. It also carries lymphatic fluid and blood, between the intestine and the rest of the body. It also helps the intestines in retaining their position and staying connecting with the abdominal wall, sans any direct contact. This organ holds up our intestines and other organs in such a way that they do not collapse into the pelvis and we are able to walk and stand properly.
Though, now it is known that mesentery has a significant role in intestinal, immunological, vascular, cardiovascular and endocrine systems but further research is being done to decide its exact role. It is not still known that whether mesentery accepts environmental signals from the intestine and sends it to the rest of the body.
Cause of misunderstanding
Coffey says that the shape of the membrane is extraordinary and thus it is quite easy to misunderstand this organ. The mesentery comes as a spiral creation in our abdomen that lies along a spinal curve, beginning in the upper abdomen and coming to an end in the pelvis. In between it expands to the intestine length, from the upper small intestine to the ending of the large bowel. This latest structural classification is helpful for both doctors and medical students. He adds that the current anatomy is quite simple for the students to understand everything. It also offers a new perspective to have a look at the abdomen and its organs.
Refining treatment and surgery
Once, more research is done, defining the function of the membrane of the gut is going to be easy. In the same manner as neurology, mesenteric science is going to be a proper medical field. Researchers further state that once better understanding of its function comes, diagnosing issues and treating them is going to be easier. Currently, owning to its placement, mesentery can accessed only surgically or radiologically. It is going to be easy mapping the mesentery during a colonscopy.
The mesentery from begins the first part of the small intestine (duodenum) right after the stomach, going to the final section of the large intestine (rectum). Thus, it can have a role in diseases such as inflammatory bowel sickness, cardiovascular ailment or Crohn’s, colorectal cancer along with other health issues like metabolic syndrome, diabetes and obesity. The more information about its functioning would be known, the investigations and treatments are going to become easier.
Coffey is of the view that now doctors can devise a new and fresh approach towards a number of problems and diseases. This is also going to help in recognizing the mechanisms leading to origin of these health conditions and helping the doctors in realizing their cause and the development.