Greater Omentum and Greater Sac – Peritoneum

by James Pickering, PhD

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    00:00 The greater omentum.

    00:03 The greater omentum is this apron like structure that I have spoken about.

    00:07 Here we can see hanging down from the stomach and then running back up towards the transverse colon.

    00:12 This is the greater omentum, this apron like structure.

    00:16 It's pretty fatty and it's really important because it actually prevents the visceral peritoneum that's adhering around the organs from attaching to the parietal peritoneum of the abdominal wall.

    00:30 So it forms the nice kind of apron like boundary. It's incredibly mobile and its important function is, sometimes we refer to it as the policeman of the abdomen - as it can surround an inflamed organ.

    00:44 If an organ becomes inflamed, then it can become quite sticky with fibrin and then these parts can actually stick together and you can have what's known as the adhesion.

    00:53 The greater omentum can actually migrate to this area and it can kinda close it off and it can limit the inflammation. Therefore limit the spread of these adhesion. So great omentum is really really quite important.

    01:08 The greater omentum, like the lesser omentum, can be split into three parts.

    01:13 Three peritoneal ligaments make up the greater omentum.

    01:18 And it's relatively straight forward.

    01:21 The ligament is named after the two organs that it runs between, so the gastrocolic ligament.

    01:29 The gastrocolic ligament is running from the stomach to the transverse colon. So all of this behavior is known as the gastrocolic ligament.

    01:37 Difficult to see on these diagram, but an extension towards the left.

    01:42 The greater omentum extended from the stomach to spleen, gastrosplenic ligament.

    01:47 It can then extend all the way up and pass in the stomach to the diaphram, the gastrophrenic ligament.

    01:53 So gastrocolic is this main visible part here.

    01:57 Gastrosplenic: stomach to spleen. Gastrophrenic: Stomach to the diaphragm.

    02:05 So the greater sac.

    02:08 We have explored the greater sac in a bit of detail before hand.

    02:13 But it has an important aspect because fluid - if it builds up in the peritoneal cavity can communicate freely around the greater sac and we can see that here if you look at the supra and infracolic compartment.

    02:28 So here we have got the greater sac and we have got its transverse, ascending and the descending colon here. And the small intestine in between here.

    02:38 And everything that's underneath this transverse colon, as I mentioned, is in the intracolic compartment.

    02:43 So we can see we have got small intestines, ascending and descending colon.

    02:47 If we look at the root of the mesentery which is running in this kind of approximate direction.

    02:54 We can see that the infracolic compartment is actually divided into two.

    03:00 We can see we have a left one here and a right one here.

    03:03 And these two parts the two parts of the infracolic compartment, both contain what are known as the paracolic gutters.

    03:15 And these allow communication between the supra and the infra colic compartments.

    03:21 So we have these paracolic gutters that are positioned lateral to the ascending and descending colon.

    03:31 So if we imagine here is the transverse colon that's been removed. This is supracolic and this is infracolic down here.

    03:38 These paracolic gutters allow fluid to progress, to pass through the abdominal cavity. So we can see we have these paracolic gutters that allow the free fluid to pass throughout the abdominal cavity.

    03:57 We have an important hepatorenal recess which is the deepest part when the body is aligned supine and that's just underneath the liver and above the superior pole of the right kidney.

    04:09 And fluid can accumulate there when you're supine and then pass down in towards the pelvis via the paracolic gutter.

    04:18 So these paracolic gutters within the greater sac are important in fluid communication.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Greater Omentum and Greater Sac – Peritoneum by James Pickering, PhD is from the course Abdomen.

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. 2
    2. 1
    3. 4
    4. 6
    1. Appendix
    2. Stomach
    3. Spleen
    4. Liver
    1. Hepatorenal recess
    2. Right paracolic gutter
    3. Left paracolic gutter
    4. Greater sac
    5. Lesser sac

    Author of lecture Greater Omentum and Greater Sac – Peritoneum

     James Pickering, PhD

    James Pickering, PhD

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