We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is the Anatomy of the Stomach?

By B. Schreiber
Updated Jan 21, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

The stomach is the widest part of the digestive tract, located in the upper left part of the abdomen. It is the part of the digestive system that connects the esophagus to the small intestine. It lies below the diaphragm, in front of the spleen and pancreas, and partially behind the liver. The general anatomy of the stomach can be divided into four parts, which are the cardia, the fundus, the body, and the pyloric region. It is often shaped like a capital J, but its exact shape varies among people and the amount of stomach contents it contains.

The stomach is connected to the esophagus at the esophageal canal, which lies near the heart. For this reason, the region nearby is called the cardia, or the cardiac part. The fundus lies to the left of the cardia and slightly above it, underneath the diaphragm. The region called the body is the largest and lies in the middle of the stomach.

In the anatomy of the stomach, the pyloric part is further divided into the pyloric antrum, canal, and sphincter. This region channels partially digested stomach connects, called chyme, into the small intestine. The pyloric antrum is the widest part of this region, which narrows into the canal. The pyloric sphincter is a round muscle that, when it contracts, directs the passage of chyme into the small intestine.

The outer anatomy of the stomach shows two curving portions. The inward-curving portion on the left is called the lesser curvature. The outward-curving part is known as the greater curvature. The stomach has the ability to expand greatly and may be able to hold up to a gallon (4 liters) in some people. The muscular wall of the stomach works to further break down its contents and expose food surfaces to the secretions that digest food.

One feature of the cellular anatomy of the stomach is a layer of tissue containing goblet cells. These cells produce a mucus lining that protects the stomach from it own secretions, which would otherwise break it down. The goblet cells themselves cannot survive long in the stomach, and are replaced every few days or so.

Special cells that produce the stomach juices are also part of the microscopic anatomy of the stomach. Parietal cells are responsible for producing hydrochloric acid (HCl). The very acidic nature of stomach contents is mostly due to HCl. Another type of cell, called chief cells, secretes an enzyme that helps break down proteins.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.