What Is the Function of Esophagus?

Q:
What Is the Function of Esophagus?

A:
Esophagus, also known as food pipe, is a muscular tube connecting the throat and the stomach. Located near the trachea (windpipe), it is about 8 inches (20 centimeters) long. Its function is to receive food from your mouth and propel it into your stomach (see pictures below).


The band of muscle at the top of the esophagus is called upper esophageal sphincter, while that at the bottom of the tube is the lower esophageal sphincter. When a person swallows, these sphincters open so food can pass into the stomach. When not in use, they contract so food and stomach acid do not flow back up into the esophagus.

 

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* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.