The Oesophagus (Esophagus)

 

The oesophagus (a Greek word meaning ‘the way of food’) is an important part of the digestive system, taking food and drink to the stomach. A problem with the oesophagus therefore needs treatment – maybe medicines, stretching it a little, placing a tube inside it, operating on it or even taking it out.

You have a food tube (the oesophagus) and an air tube (trachea) travelling down through the chest. The trachea goes to the lungs and fills them with air. The oesophagus is a muscular tube which propels food downhill to the stomach where the digestive process starts.

You don’t just swallow by gravity; some of it goes down by gravity, but it also goes down because you have muscle round the outside that squeezes it down – this downward motility action is called peristalsis.

The diaphragm separates the chest from the belly. Your oesophagus goes through the diaphragm and you’ve got about 2 or 3cm of oesophagus in your belly at the top of your stomach.




Email Newsletter

Sign up to our newsletter for latest news updates via email.

Patient Support Meetings

The latest meeting dates for patient support meetings »

Make a donation

Via our Just Giving page.

Fundraising

Great fundraising ideas to help you raise money for the OPA.

Share us with your family and friends...