Abnormal Veins in the Esophagus Anatomy
To better understand esophageal varices, it helps to understand the anatomy of the esophagus.
The esophagus is a muscular tube that propels food from the mouth, to the stomach. It begins in the pharynx, just below the base of the tongue, and passes through the chest, next to the spine. It then passes through the diaphragm before emptying into the stomach.
The bottom of the esophagus opens during swallowing, and then closes after the food has entered the stomach. This prevents food from leaking back into the esophagus.
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