abdomen

abdomen

[ab-duh-muhn, ab-doh-]
abdomen, in humans and other vertebrates, portion of the trunk between the diaphragm and lower pelvis. In humans the wall of the abdomen is a muscular structure covered by fascia, fat, and skin. The abdominal cavity is lined with a thin membrane, the peritoneum, which encloses the stomach, intestines, liver, and gall bladder; the pancreas, kidneys, and urinary bladder are located behind the peritoneum. The abdomen of the female also contains the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterus. The navel, or umbilicus, an exterior scar on the front of the abdomen, marks the point of attachment of the fetus to the maternal organism before birth. In insects, crustacea, and some other arthropods, the term abdomen refers to the entire rear portion of the body.
The linea alba is a fibrous structure that runs down the midline of the abdomen in humans and other vertebrates. The name means white line and the linea alba is indeed white, being composed mostly of collagen connective tissue.

It is formed by the fusion of the aponeuroses of the abdominal muscles, and it separates the left and right rectus abdominis muscles. In muscular individuals its presence can be seen on the skin, forming the depression between the left and right halves of a "six pack."

Because it consists of only connective tissue, and doesn't contain important nerves or blood vessels, a median incision through the linea alba is a common surgical approach.

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  • (before removing skin)
  • (after removing skin)

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