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Abdomen

from Latin: abdomen - belly
Synonyms: gut, tummy, venter, belly
German: Abdomen, Bauch

1 Definition

In anatomy, abdomen means the belly, which consists of the abdominal wall, abdominal cavity (cavitas abdominalis) and viscera.

Together with the thorax and the pelvis, the abdomen forms the torso.

2 Anatomy

2.1 Limitation

The upper margin of the abdomen is formed by the lowest ribs and the tip of the sternum (Latin: sternum). The lower margin is demarcated by the bony upper edge of the pelvis and the inguinal ligament. The anterior and lateral limitation of the abdomen consists of the abdominal muscles and the subcutaneous tissue located on top of it, with the abdominal skin spaning above.

2.2 Surface

The superficial appearance of the abdomen depends on the state of nutrition and training. In obese people, the abdomen in total is convex due to an extensive fat layer, and it offers no further anatomical features aside from the Belly button (umbilicus) lying in the median line. Whereas, in lean and trained people, the relief of the abdominal muscles stands out, particularly the recesses of the rectus abdominis muscle due to the 3 tendon intersections (Intersectiones tendineae).

2.3 Topography

You can divide the abdomen into three topographical sections and 6 anatomical regions.

2.3.1 Upper abdomen

The upper abdomen, or the Epigastrium is the abdominal area framed by the ribs above the belly button: It comprises the following regions:

2.3.2 Middle abdomen

The middle abdomen or the Mesogastrium is the free middle area around the belly button which approximately has the form of a thin corset. It consists in:

2.3.3 Lower abdomen

The lower abdomen, or the Hypogastrium is the abdominal area framed by the pelvis below the belly button. In layman's terms, it is also called lower belly. It can be further divided into the following anatomical regions:

2.4 Viscera

The most important part of th abdomen are the abdominal organs contained therein. Basically, the organs inside of the abdomen are divided into intraperitoneal and extraperitoneal viscera according to their type of peritoneal cover. The viscera contain:

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