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Thymus, an organ of the lymphatic system Credit: Wikipedia

It turns out that a body part considered unimportant, and that frequently gets removed during operations - is actually important for adult health. This body part is the thymus. The thymus is frequently (routinely) removed during heart surgery for easier access to the heart and major blood vessels.

The thymus is an organ of the immune system within which T cells mature. For years the medical community regarded the thymus as only important before birth and during childhood, but "nonfunctional" in adults. A recent large study found that this view is wrong - that even in adults the thymus is important for immune and overall health.

Massachusetts General Hospital researchers found that after 5 years a higher risk of death from any cause (all cause mortality), cancer, and even autoimmune diseases among those who had thymus removal (thymectomy) versus those who had similar heart (cardiothoracic) surgery without thymus removal.

In other words, we need all our body parts! Even if the medical community doesn't quite understand (at this time) why we have them.

Excerpts from Medical Xpress: Study reveals unexpected importance of the thymus in adults

The thymus gland—which produces immune T cells before birth and during childhood— is often regarded as nonfunctional in adults, and it's sometimes removed during cardiac surgery for easier access to the heart and major blood vessels. ...continue reading "It Turns Out That The Thymus Is Important For Adult Health"