How Long Is The Esophagus In The Digestive System


How Long Is The Esophagus In The Digestive System ?  

The esophagus is also known as the gullet. It is a muscular tube which is about 10 inches or 25 cm long. In humans, the esophagus is connected with the laryngeal part of the pharynx. It connects the mouth with the stomach.

The esophagus can be divided into cervical, thoracic and abdominal parts. Its opening into the stomach is surrounded by a ring of muscles called cardiac sphincter. Food passes through the esophagus by peristalsis of its muscular wall. The esophagus lacks the mucous lining that the stomach has. Therefore, the acid that passes the cardiac sphincter can cause irritation in the esophagus.

The different layers of the esophagus histologically are mucosa, submucosa, muscularis externa and adventitia. The esophagus may be affected by diseases. They can either be present at the time of birth or may be acquired later on in life. Sometimes the acids from the stomach may pass into the esophagus. Since the esophagus is not protected by a mucosal lining, this may harm it. Then the person may often experience a heart burn sensation. In extreme cases, the lining of the esophagus may be eroded because of this. Then, the condition is called Barrett’s esophagus where adenocarcinoma can occur. Another common syndrome is globus esophagus where it feels like a ball is stuck in the esophagus.

The other diseases that affect the esophagus are: Achalasia, Chagas disease, Caustic injury to the esophagus, Esophageal atresia, Tracheoesophageal fistula, Esophageal cancer, Esophageal varices, Esophageal web, Esophagitis, GERD, Hiatus hernia, Mallory-Weiss syndrome, Neurogenic dysphagia, Schatzki's ring, Zenker's Diverticulum, Boerhaave syndrome and Esophageal dysphagia.

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