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UHL surgeon features in Gray’s Surgical Anatomy

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*Pictured at the library in the Clinical Education and Research Centre, UHL, with were Dara Walsh, Prof John Calvin Coffey and UL GEMS third year medical students Olwyn Conlon, Ross Book and Sophie Sabherwal.

A pioneering surgeon and medical illustrator based at University Hospital Limerick are among the contributors to the first edition of Gray’s Surgical Anatomy.

Prof John Calvin Coffey, Foundation Chair of Surgery, Graduate Entry Medical School, University of Limerick and Consultant Colorectal Surgeon, UL Hospitals Group, made global headlines in 2017 when he led a team of researchers in reclassifying part of the human digestive system known as the mesentery as a new organ.

Their work has led to updates in some of the world’s most prestigious medical textbooks, including Gray’s Anatomy. They were also recently recognised at UCC’s Annual Alumni Achievement Awards.

Gray’s Surgical Anatomy (2019) includes a chapter on the Peritoneum, Mesentery and Peritoneal Cavity. Listed with Prof Coffey as a contributor is Dara Walsh, a medical illustrator from the University of Limerick who is also based at University Hospital Limerick.

Mr Walsh’s work has featured in such prestigious journals as The Lancet Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Nature Reviews Gastroenterology and Hepatology and now also, Gray’s Surgical Anatomy.

“Identifying the mesentery as an organ clarifies what we are as humans and how we are made up. It re-orientates human biology in general, and clinical practice in particular. Dara Walsh’s illustrations have made a once complex field easy to understand and study for all,” Professor Coffey stated. Better understanding of the mesentery and its functions has already led to improvements in surgery with fewer complications, speedier recovery for patients and reduced costs to healthcare providers.

Páraic McMahon is Head of News & Sport with The Clare Echo. The Newmarket-on-Fergus native also writes for national papers including The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent and The Irish Times along with doing work for RTÉ, Today FM, and A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to -

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