Anatomy of the Gastrointestinal Tract
Esophagus: commonly known as the “food pipe”. Food passes by peristaltic contractions.
Stomach: a muscular organ that functions as an important organ in digestion. It secretes digestive enzymes and gastric acid to aid in digestion.
Gall bladder: a small organ where bile is stored before it is released into the small intestine.
Pancreas: a digestive organ, secreting pancreatic juice containing digestive enzymes to aid in digestion and absorption of nutrients in the small intestine.
Duodenum: the first part of the small intestine. Responsible for breakdown of food using enzymes and is about 25 – 38 cm long.
Jejunum: the second part of the small intestine, which is about 2.5 cm long.
Ileum: the third part of the small intestine. And is about 2 – 4 m long. Its main function is to absorb vitamin B₁₂ and bile salts and whatever products of digestion were not absorbed by the jejunum.
Cecum: an intraperitoneal pouch that is considered to be the beginning of the large intestine.
Ascending colon: the part of the colon located between the cecum and the transverse colon.
Transverse colon: the longest and most movable part of the colon, and crosses the abdomen.
Descending colon: the function in the digestive system is to store the remains of digested food that will be emptied into the rectum.
Sigmoid colon: the part of the large intestine that is closest to the rectum and anus. It averages about 35 – 40 cm in length.
Rectum: the final straight portion of the large intestine. It acts as a temporary storage site for feces.
Anal canal: is the terminal part of the large intestine. It is situated between the rectum and anus. It is approximately 2.5 – 4 cm long.