What is esophagus?

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William B. Salt II., MD
Gastroenterology
The esophagus is a tube about one foot long. It is lined with powerful circular and longitudinal muscles that move swallowed food into the stomach by forceful peristaltic contractions. When the food reaches the end of the esophagus, it passes through the lower esophageal sphincter (LES).
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The esophagus is in the chest. It's about 10 inches long. This organ is part of the digestive tract. Food moves from the mouth through the esophagus to the stomach. The esophagus is a muscular tube. The wall of the esophagus has several layers:

Inner layer or lining (mucosa): The lining of the esophagus is moist so that food can pass to the stomach. Submucosa: The glands in this layer make mucus. Mucus keeps the esophagus moist. Muscle layer: The muscles push the food down to the stomach. Outer layer: The outer layer covers the esophagus.

This answer is based on source information from the National Cancer Institute.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.