The pancreas is an organ located in the abdomen. It plays an essential role in converting the food we eat into fuel for the body’s cells. This is one of the main organs of our body that helps in digestion. If any problem in pancreas occurs, it’s wise to get a pancreas operation.
The location of the pancreas is behind the stomach in the upper left abdomen. It is surrounded by other organs including the small intestine, liver, and spleen. It is spongy, about six to ten inches long, and is shaped like a flat pear or a fish extended horizontally across the abdomen.
Several major blood vessels surround the pancreas, the superior mesenteric artery, the superior mesenteric vein, the portal vein and the celiac axis, supplying blood to the pancreas and other abdominal organs.
A healthy pancreas produces the correct enzymes in the proper quantities, at the right times, to digest the foods we eat. The pancreas has two main functions, an exocrine function that helps in digestion and an endocrine function that regulates blood sugar.
These exocrine glands produce enzymes that are important for digestion. These enzymes include trypsin and chymotrypsin to digest proteins; amylase for the digestion of carbohydrates and lipase to break down fats. When food enters the stomach, these pancreatic juices are released into a system of ducts that culminate in the main pancreatic duct. The pancreatic duct joins the common bile duct to form the ampulla of Vater which is located in the first portion of the small intestine, called the duodenum.
The component of endocrine in the pancreas consists of islet cells that create and release important hormones directly into the bloodstream. Two of the main pancreatic hormones are insulin, which acts to lower blood sugar, and glucagon, which acts to raise blood sugar. Maintaining proper blood sugar levels is crucial to the functioning of key organs including the brain, liver, and kidneys.
There are so many diseases that can show up in the pancreas. Before it becomes something major, get a pancreas operation and keep staying healthy.