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Omental bursa

Learning objectives

This study unit will help you to:

  1. Learn exactly what the omental bursa is and its anatomical position.
  2. Learn about the structure and function of the omental bursa.
  3. Identify the organs and neurovascular structures that are related to the omental bursa.

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The omental bursa is a large peritoneal recess located in the abdomen formed by a double-layered fold of visceral peritoneum. It is situated posterior to the stomach and lesser omentum, inferior to the liver and anterior to the pancreas. It is also known as the lesser sac, in contrast to the main and larger part of the peritoneal cavity which is referred to as the greater sac. These two cavities are connected by the omental/epiploic foramen (of Winslow). The size of the omental bursa varies greatly, mainly due to the volume of the organs that make up its walls.

This video tutorial will provide you with a comprehensive overview of the omental bursa.

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Browse atlas


Key points about the omental bursa
Definition Hollow space formed by the greater and lesser omentum and its adjacent organs.
Walls Anterior: hepatogastric ligament, posterior surface of stomach, posterior layers of the lesser and greater omenta
: transverse colon, transverse mesocolon, pancreas, left suprarenal gland, superior part of the left kidney, abdominal aorta, celiac trunk, diaphragm
Borders Superior: extends between esophagus and ligamentum venosum
: from gastrosplenic ligament to duodenum
: gastrosplenic ligament, spleen, phrenicosplenic ligament
: omental foramen, lesser omentum, greater sac
Recesses Superior omental recess
Inferior omental recess
Splenic recess

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