The Mesentery- A New Human Organ Discovered

It is official! You have one more organ in your body!

Up until now, we had 78 organs. But there is another one. And it is called the mesentery.  The announcement of this body part was published in The Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology. The star of the show is J. Calvin Coffey, a researcher from the University Hospital Limerick in Ireland, who first discovered that the mesentery was an organ. This organ is far from complicated or complex. It is simply one continuous structure. But what does this organ actually do? The answer is that nobody knows, yet.

What is mesentery?

It is, as we mentioned, an organ located in our abdomen. The mesentery is, basically, a belt of tissue that holds our intestines in place. It was always there hiding in plain sight. Scientists were not sure it was an organ but a structure that contains more segments.  As our organs must be continuous, the mesentery didn’t win the organ status. Although its function is still unclear, the discovery opens up a whole new area of science. Now that anatomy and the structure is established. The next step is the function.  “If you understand the function you can identify abnormal function, and then you have a disease. Put them all together and you have the field of mesenteric science … the basis for a whole new area of science”, Coffey explained.

Interesting facts

The mesentery is a fold of the peritoneum which attaches the stomach, small intestine, pancreas, spleen, and other organs to the posterior wall of the abdomen.

The famous Leanardo da Vinci actually, described the mesentery back in 1508.  But it has been ignored throughout the centuries, until now.

“Without it you can’t live,” says J. Calvin Coffey, a Limerick University Hospital researcher and colorectal surgeon. “There are no reports of a Homo sapiens living without it.”

The world’s most famous medical textbook, Gray’s Anatomy, has to be updated to include the new definition.