In a finding published in the medical journal The Lancet Gastroenterology and Hepatology, J. Calvin Coffey, a professor at the University of Limerick in Ireland, reclassified the mesentery as one connected organ, not a disjointed group of separate parts. The Irish surgeon’s breakthrough overturned more than a century of medical belief and may lead to improvements in digestive surgery and recovery.
As reported by USA Today, although the mesentery has no identifiable function, clarifying the structure of the mesentery paves the way for a better understanding of the organ. New mesentery research may lead to less invasive surgeries, fewer complications, shorter patient recovery, and lower costs.
The authors state in their findings that “distinctive anatomical and functional features have been revealed that justify designation of the mesentery as an organ. Accordingly, the mesentery should be subjected to the same investigatory focus that is applied to other organs and systems.”