I am ashamed to admit that in spite of being a duly licensed nurse for over 20 years, I did not know what an omentum was. I must have been daydreaming about cute doctors when they touched on this subject in A&P. Not only was I not familiar with the term, I wasn't aware that I even had one. That is, until my doctor informed me that she would be removing mine. Not only does everyone have one, there is a lesser omentum and a greater omentum.
"Well," You may be wondering, (other than unfortunately, becoming studded with metastasized cancer,) "What purpose does the omentum serve?"
According to Wikipedia the functions of the greater omentum are:
- Fat deposition, having varying amounts of adipose tissue
- Immune contribution, having milky spots of macrophage collections
- Infection and wound isolation; It may also physically limit the spread of intraperitoneal infections. The greater omentum can often be found wrapped around areas of infection and trauma.
- Omentectomy refers to the surgical removal of the omentum, a relatively simple procedure with no major side effects, that is performed in cases where there may be spread of cancerous tissue into the omentum. Examples for this conditions are ovarian cancer and advanced or aggressive endometrial cancer as well as intestinal cancer and also appendix cancer (PMP). The procedure is generally done as an add-on when the primary lesion is removed.
Respect your omentum. True, it is not one of the sexier organs like the ovaries or the liver but it does serve a purpose.