2.3.2. Esophagus

esophagus3

The esophagus (oesophagus, commonly known as the gullet) is an organ in vertebrates which consists of a muscular tube through which food passes from the pharynx to the stomach. During swallowing, food passes from the mouth through the pharynx into the esophagus and travels via peristalsis to the stomach.

DeglucionEsofagoThe word esophagus is derived from the Latinœsophagus, which derives from the Greek word oisophagos, lit. “entrance for eating.”

In humans the esophagus is continuous with the laryngeal part of the pharynx at the level of the C6vertebra. The esophagus passes through posterior mediastinum in thorax and enters abdomen through a hole in the diaphragm at the level of the tenth thoracic vertebrae (T10).

It is usually about 25cm, but extreme variations have been recorded ranging 10–50 cm long depending on individual height. It is divided into cervical, thoracic and abdominal parts. Due to the inferior pharyngeal constrictor muscle, the entry to the esophagus opens only when swallowing or vomiting.

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