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Omentum

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Updated June 04, 2008

Definition: The omentum is a large fatty structure which literally hangs off the middle of your colon and drapes over the intestines inside the abdomen. It is not clear why it evolved as part of the human body, but it does reach every organ in the abdomen, draping over and attaching itself to areas of inflammation. So, as part of its function, it may act as a bandage in case of bad infection or intestinal rupture (such as appendicitis), limiting spread of infection. It is important in ovarian cancer because it has a lot of tiny blood vessels. So cancer cells that have broken away from the ovary like to implant and grow there, known as omental metastasis.
Pronunciation: oh-men-tum
Also Known As: omental cake
Examples:
During surgery, the omentum was found to contain multiple cancerous tumors.
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