Parts of the Stomach
The stomach is a muscular organ located in the upper abdomen, on the left side of the body. It plays a crucial role in the digestion of food by storing, mixing, and breaking down ingested food through the secretion of digestive enzymes and gastric acids. The stomach is divided into several parts, each with specific functions. The main parts of the stomach are as follows:
- Cardia: The cardia is the portion of the stomach that is closest to the esophagus. It surrounds the lower esophageal sphincter, which helps prevent the backflow of stomach contents into the esophagus.
- Fundus: The fundus is the upper, rounded part of the stomach that is located above the level of the cardia. It acts as a temporary storage area for swallowed food and also participates in the initial stages of digestion.
- Body: The body, also known as the corpus, is the main central portion of the stomach. It is responsible for mixing and grinding the food with gastric secretions, turning it into a semi-liquid substance called chyme.
- Pylorus: The pylorus is the lower part of the stomach, which connects to the small intestine. It consists of two parts: the pyloric antrum, which is closer to the body of the stomach, and the pyloric canal, which is closer to the small intestine. The pylorus regulates the release of chyme into the small intestine through the pyloric sphincter.
- Lesser and Greater Curvature: The stomach has two major curves. The lesser curvature is the shorter and concave inner curve of the stomach, while the greater curvature is the longer and convex outer curve.
It’s important to note that the stomach is a highly flexible organ, and its shape can change depending on the amount and type of food it contains. These parts work together to facilitate the digestion process by storing food, mixing it with gastric secretions, and gradually releasing it into the small intestine for further digestion and absorption.