Abdominal organs are body organs located in the abdominal cavity, the section of the body between the chest and the pelvis. The abdominal cavity or abdomen houses organs related to digestion and the urinary tract, along with organs which filter and process blood and other body fluids. Quarters are crowded in the abdominal cavity, not least because the abdomen houses the long coils of the intestines. All of the organs in this part of the body work together to process food and drink into nutrients which can be used by the body, along with waste products which are excreted.
The abdominal organs related to the digestive tract include the stomach, large intestine, and small intestine. The kidneys belong to the urinary tract, and the abdominal cavity also hosts the liver, gallbladder, spleen, and pancreas, along with the vermiform appendix, a vestigial organ. Each abdominal organ has a specific function in the body, and an interruption in the processes of one organ can cause a variety of health problems.
The interconnected organ systems in the abdomen can get quite complex. Medical students often spend a great deal of time on this part of the body, learning about how all of the different abdominal organs work and how they interact with each other. There are also a number of medical conditions which can be present in the abdomen, with medical students learning about the diagnosis and treatment of a range of issues from celiac disease to liver tumors.
The abdomen is ideally designed as a sturdy container for organs. It is surrounded by tough fascia and muscle, with the ribs protecting the upper part of the abdominal cavity. The organs inside fit like the pieces of a puzzle, with shapes which almost feel like they are meant to fit into each other. However, some organs inside the abdomen are vulnerable to damage. The kidneys, for example, can be injured by a blow to the lower back, which is one reason uniforms for rough sports often include extra padding in the lower back.
Damage to some abdominal organs can also cause a chain reaction of health problems. For example, perforations of the intestine can lead to the release of bacteria, causing peritonitis, an infection of the abdominal cavity which can be deadly. If organs become severely damaged and start to fail, their inability to function can also cause systemic organ failure, in which one organ's malfunctioning starts to affect other organs as well.