Anatomy of the Stomach
The stomach is a J-shaped organ in the upper belly (abdomen). It’s part of the digestive
system. It’s between the end of the food pipe (esophagus) and the start of the first
part of the small bowel (duodenum).
The stomach is much like a bag with a lining. The stomach is made of these 5 layers:
Mucosa. This is the first and innermost layer or lining. It contains the glands that release
digestive juices. These are called hydrochloric acid and pepsin. This is where most
stomach cancers start.
Submucosa. This second layer supports the mucosa. It is rich in blood vessels, lymphatic vessels,
Muscularis. The third layer is made of thick muscles. They help to mix food with the digestive
Subserosa. This layer contains supporting tissues for the serosa.
Serosa. This is the last and outermost layer. It’s the lining that wraps around the stomach
to confine it.
After you chew and swallow food, it enters your stomach from the food pipe. At this
point, pepsin and hydrochloric acid are released. Your stomach muscles create a rippling
motion, which combines the food with the digestive juices. After about 2 to 3 hours,
partly digested food moves into the small intestine. This is where it’s broken down
further, and over time, absorbed into your body.