Lesser omentum

The lesser omentum (small omentum or gastrohepatic omentum) is the double layer of peritoneum that extends from the liver to the lesser curvature of the stomach (hepatogastric ligament) and the first part of the duodenum (hepatoduodenal ligament).

Lesser omentum
The lesser omentum extends from the liver to the stomach and the duodenum
LatinOmentum minus
Anatomical terminology


The primitive mesentery of a six weeks’ human embryo, half schematic. (Lesser omentum labeled at left.)
Schematic and enlarged cross-section through the body of a human embryo in the region of the mesogastrium, at end of third month

The lesser omentum is extremely thin, and is continuous with the two layers of peritoneum which cover respectively the antero-superior and postero-inferior surfaces of the stomach and first part of the duodenum.

When these two layers reach the lesser curvature of the stomach and the upper border of the duodenum, they join together and ascend as a double fold to the porta hepatis.

To the left of the porta, the fold is attached to the bottom of the fossa for the ductus venosus, along which it is carried to the diaphragm, where the two layers separate to embrace the end of the esophagus.

At the right border of the lesser omentum, the two layers are continuous, and form a free margin which constitutes the anterior boundary of the omental foramen.


Anatomically, the lesser omentum is divided into ligaments, each starting with the prefix "hepato" to indicate that it connects to the liver at one end.

Most sources divide it into two parts:[1]

In some cases, the following ligaments are considered part of the lesser omentum:


Between the two layers of the lesser omentum, close to the right free margin, are the hepatic artery proper, the common bile duct, the portal vein, lymphatics, and the hepatic plexus of nerves—all these structures being enclosed in a fibrous capsule (Glisson's capsule).

Between the layers of the lesser omentum, where they are attached to the stomach, run the right and left gastric arteries, as well as the gastric veins.

Additional images

See also


This article incorporates text in the public domain from page 1156 of the 20th edition of Gray's Anatomy (1918)

  1. abdominalcavity at The Anatomy Lesson by Wesley Norman (Georgetown University) (peritoneumonsagcut, xsectthrulesseromentum)
  2. Anatomy photo:38:st-0304 at the SUNY Downstate Medical Center - "Stomach, Spleen and Liver: Ligaments"
  3. Anatomy photo:37:05-0103 at the SUNY Downstate Medical Center - "Abdominal Cavity: The Lesser Omentum"
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