The jejunum and ileum are attached to the posterior abdominal wall by an extensive fold of peritoneum, the mesentery, which allows the freest motion, so that each coil can accommodate itself to changes in form and position.  The mesentery is fan-shaped; its posterior border or root, about 15 cm. long, is attached to the posterior abdominal wall from the left side of the body of the second lumbar vertebra to the right sacroiliac articulation, crossing successively the horizontal part of the duodenum, the aorta, the inferior vena cava, the ureter, and right Psoas muscle.  Its breadth between its vertebral and intestinal borders averages about 20 cm., and is greater in the middle than at its upper and lower ends.  Between the two layers of which it is composed are contained blood vessels, nerves, lacteals, and lymph glands, together with a variable amount of fat. (adapted from Grey’s Anatomy)

Nicolas Henri Jacob – Illustration for Traité complet de l’anatomie de l’homme comprenant la médecine opératoire (1831-1854) by Jean-Baptiste Marc Bourgery.

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