Omentum(redirected from omenta)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical.
a broad and long fold of visceral peritoneum containing areolar tissue rich in blood vessels and fat deposits between its layers. The greater omentum, which consists of four peritoneal layers, originates at the greater curvature of the stomach, becomes attached to the transverse colon, and, covering the intestine anteriorly, descends in the form of an apron. The greater omentum performs a protective function in cases of traumas and inflammatory diseases of the organs of the abdominal cavity, such as appendicitis. The lesser omentum is a double peritoneal fold that stretches between the liver, the upper part of the duodenum, and the lesser curvature of the stomach.
The greater omentum is frequently used both to cover sutures applied during operations of the stomach and intestine and to tamponade wounds of the liver and spleen. Omentitis is an acute inflammation of the greater omentum that may result if the greater omentum is infected, twisted, or injured; this condition is accompanied by the symptoms of acute abdomen.