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Falciform Ligament

The falciform ligament is a ligament that attaches the liver to the anterior body wall. It is a broad and thin antero-posterior peritoneal fold, falciform (Latin "sickle-shaped"), its base being directed downward and backward and its apex upward and backward. The falciform ligament droops down from the hilum of the liver. It is a remnant of the umbilical vein of the fetus and a derivative of the embryonic ventral mesentery. It is situated in an antero-posterior plane but lies obliquely, so that one surface faces forward and is in contact with the peritoneum behind the right rectus and the diaphragm, while the other is directed backward and is in contact with the left lobe of the liver. It is attached by its left margin to the under surface of the diaphragm and the posterior surface of the sheath of the right Rectus as low down as the umbilicus; by its right margin, it extends from the notch on the anterior margin of the liver, as far back as the posterior surface. It is composed of two layers of peritoneum closely united together. Its base or free edge contains between its layers the round ligament and the paraumbilical veins. It becomes canalised if the individual is suffering from portal hypertension, due to the increase in venous congestion blood is pushed down from the liver towards the anterior abdominal wall and pools resulting in periumbilical bruising.