Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Diverticulum in the Esophagus Anatomy

To better understand esophageal diverticulum, 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.

Anatomy examples:

  • Junction of esophagus and stomach
  • Entire intestinal tract

Last Updated: Nov 6, 2008 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Diverticulum in the Esophagus References
  1. Costantini M, Zaninotto G, Rizzetto C, Narne S, Ancona E. Oesophageal diverticula. Best Pract Res Clin Gastroenterol. 2004 Feb;18(1):3-17. [15123081]
  2. Nutter KM, Ball OG. Esophageal diverticula: current classification and important complications. J Miss State Med Assoc. 2004 May;45(5):131-5. [15162702]
  3. Sen P, Kumar G, Bhattacharyya AK. Pharyngeal pouch: associations and complications. Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2006 May;263(5):463-8. Epub 2006 Feb 4. [16463064]
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