Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Esophagus Tears Anatomy

To better understand Mallory Weiss tears, 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: Dec 20, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Esophagus Tears References
  1. Church NI, Palmer KR. Ulcers and nonvariceal bleeding. Endoscopy. 2003 Jan;35(1):22-6. [12510222]
  2. Gunay K, Cabioglu N, Barbaros U, Taviloglu K, Ertekin C. Endoscopic ligation for patients with active bleeding Mallory-Weiss tears. Surg Endosc. 2001 Nov;15(11):1305-7. Epub 2001 Sep 4 [11727139]
  3. Hui AJ, Sung JJ. Endoscopic Treatment of Upper Gastrointestinal Bleeding. Curr Treat Options Gastroenterol. 2005 Apr;8(2):153-162. [15769437]
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