What Is the Gastroesophageal Junction?

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Q:
What Is the Gastroesophageal Junction?

A:
Gastroesophageal (GE) junction is the lower part of the esophagus that connects to the stomach. Slightly above the GE juction is a special ring of muscle called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). The LES controls the flow of food and liquid from the esophagus into the stomach. Together these muscles form an integrated sphincter mechanism (see picture right).

If the sphincter mechanism doesn’t work normally, the food and stomach acid can pass back into the esophagus. This can lead to acid reflux. Over time, it may develop into a severe disorder, called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

 

Keywords: gastroesophageal junction

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