Esophagus

The digestive tract, with the esophagus marked in red
The esophagus is constricted in three places.
A mass seen during an endoscopy and an ultrasound of the mass conducted during the endoscopy session.

Organ in vertebrates through which food passes, aided by peristaltic contractions, from the pharynx to the stomach.

- Esophagus
The digestive tract, with the esophagus marked in red

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Many of the internal organs of the human body

Organ (biology)

Organ is a collection of tissues joined in a structural unit to serve a common function.

Organ is a collection of tissues joined in a structural unit to serve a common function.

Many of the internal organs of the human body
The liver and gallbladder of a sheep
Relationship of major animal lineages with indication of how long ago these animals shared a common ancestor. On the left, important organs are shown, which allows us to determine how long ago these may have evolved.
The flower is the angiosperm's reproductive organ. This Hibiscus flower is hermaphroditic, and it contains stamen and pistils.
Strobilus of Equisetum telmateia
Human viscera

Digestive system: digestion and processing food with salivary glands, esophagus, stomach, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, intestines, colon, rectum and anus.

Digestion

Breakdown of large insoluble food molecules into small water-soluble food molecules so that they can be absorbed into the watery blood plasma.

Breakdown of large insoluble food molecules into small water-soluble food molecules so that they can be absorbed into the watery blood plasma.

Schematic drawing of bacterial conjugation. 1- Donor cell produces pilus. 2- Pilus attaches to recipient cell, bringing the two cells together. 3- The mobile plasmid is nicked and a single strand of DNA is transferred to the recipient cell. 4- Both cells recircularize their plasmids, synthesize second strands, and reproduce pili; both cells are now viable donors.
Venus Flytrap (Dionaea muscipula) leaf
Trophozoites of Entamoeba histolytica with ingested erythrocytes
Rough illustration of a ruminant digestive system
A flesh fly "blowing a bubble", possibly to concentrate its food by evaporating water
Action of the major digestive hormones

It will then travel down the esophagus and into the stomach by the action of peristalsis.

The digestive tract, with the esophagus marked in red

Dysphagia

Difficulty in swallowing.

Difficulty in swallowing.

The digestive tract, with the esophagus marked in red

In achalasia, there is idiopathic destruction of parasympathetic ganglia of the Auerbach's (Myenteric) plexus of the entire esophagus, which results in functional narrowing of the lower esophagus, and peristaltic failure throughout its length.

Endoscopic image of an esophageal adenocarcinoma

Esophageal cancer

Endoscopic image of an esophageal adenocarcinoma
Esophageal cancer (lower part) as a result of Barrettʼs esophagus
Esophageal cancer as shown by a filling defect during an upper GI series
Esophageal stent for esophageal cancer
Esophageal stent for esophageal cancer
Before and after a total esophagectomy
Typical scar lines after the two main methods of surgery
Death from esophageal cancer per million persons in 2012
Endoscopic image of Barrett esophagus – a frequent precursor of esophageal adenocarcinoma
Endoscopy and radial endoscopic ultrasound images of a submucosal tumor in the central portion of the esophagus
Contrast CT scan showing an esophageal tumor (axial view)
Contrast CT scan showing an esophageal tumor (coronal view)
Esophageal cancer
Micrograph showing histopathological appearance of an esophageal adenocarcinoma (dark blue – upper-left of image) and normal squamous epithelium (upper-right of image) at H&E staining
T1, T2, and T3 stages of esophageal cancer
Stage T4 esophageal cancer
Esophageal cancer with spread to lymph nodes
Internal radiotherapy for esophageal cancer
Self-expandable metallic stents are sometimes used for palliative care

Esophageal cancer is cancer arising from the esophagus—the food pipe that runs between the throat and the stomach.

Head and inner neck

Pharynx

Head and inner neck
Upper respiratory system, with the nasopharynx, oropharynx and laryngopharynx labeled at left
Details of torus tubarius
Pharyngitis is the painful swelling of the throat. The oropharynx shown here is very inflamed and red.
An illustration of the pharyngeal jaws of a moray eel
Everted pharynx of Alitta virens (also known as Nereis virens), lateral view
Pharynx of the flatworm Prorhynchus fontinalis
Pharynx of the flatworm Platydemus manokwari visible as the worm feeds on a snail.
Longitudinal section through the roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans showing the position of the pharynx in the animal body.
Microscopic cross section through the pharynx of a larva from an unknown lamprey species.
Nose and nasal
Coronal section of right ear, showing auditory tube and levator veli palatini muscle
The entrance to the larynx, viewed from behind
Deep dissection of human larynx, pharynx and tongue seen from behind
The nasopharynx, oropharynx, and laryngopharynx or larynx can be seen clearly in this sagittal section of the head and neck.

The pharynx (plural: pharynges) is the part of the throat behind the mouth and nasal cavity, and above the oesophagus and trachea (the tubes going down to the stomach and the lungs).

X-ray image of the chest showing the internal anatomy of the rib cage, lungs and heart as well as the inferior thoracic border–made up of the diaphragm.

Heartburn

Burning sensation in the central chest or upper central abdomen.

Burning sensation in the central chest or upper central abdomen.

X-ray image of the chest showing the internal anatomy of the rib cage, lungs and heart as well as the inferior thoracic border–made up of the diaphragm.

Heartburn is usually due to regurgitation of gastric acid (gastric reflux) into the esophagus.

Sagittal view of mouth and pharynx

Swallowing

Sagittal view of mouth and pharynx
A pelican swallowing a fish

Swallowing, sometimes called deglutition in scientific contexts, is the process in the human or animal body that allows for a substance to pass from the mouth, to the pharynx, and into the esophagus, while shutting the epiglottis.

14th-century illustration of vomiting from the Casanatense Tacuinum Sanitatis

Vomiting

Involuntary, forceful expulsion of the contents of one's stomach through the mouth and sometimes the nose.

Involuntary, forceful expulsion of the contents of one's stomach through the mouth and sometimes the nose.

14th-century illustration of vomiting from the Casanatense Tacuinum Sanitatis
Vomiting
Partially digested food, with man-sized glove for scale
A drunk man vomiting, while a young slave is holding his forehead. Brygos Painter, 500–470 BC
Special bags are often supplied on boats for sick passengers to vomit into.

Repeated or profuse vomiting may cause erosions to the esophagus or small tears in the esophageal mucosa (Mallory–Weiss tear).

Potential location of pain from a heart attack

Chest pain

Pain or discomfort in the chest, typically the front of the chest.

Pain or discomfort in the chest, typically the front of the chest.

Potential location of pain from a heart attack
A blockage of coronary arteries can lead to a heart attack
Gastroesophageal reflux disease is a common cause of chest pain in adults

Achalasia, nutcracker esophagus, and other motility disorders of the esophagus

A time-space diagram of a peristaltic wave after a water swallow. High-pressure values are red, zero pressure is blue-green. The ridge in the upper part of the picture is the high pressure of the upper esophageal sphincter which only opens for a short time to let water pass.

Peristalsis

Radially symmetrical contraction and relaxation of muscles that propagates in a wave down a tube, in an anterograde direction.

Radially symmetrical contraction and relaxation of muscles that propagates in a wave down a tube, in an anterograde direction.

A time-space diagram of a peristaltic wave after a water swallow. High-pressure values are red, zero pressure is blue-green. The ridge in the upper part of the picture is the high pressure of the upper esophageal sphincter which only opens for a short time to let water pass.
A simplified image showing peristalsis
A simplified image showing Earthworm movement via peristalsis

When a peristaltic wave reaches at the end of the esophagus, the cardiac sphincter (gastroesophageal sphincter) opens allowing the passage of bolus into the stomach.