The pancreas is a gland behind the stomach that produces pancreatic hormones, insulin, and digestive enzymes that are released into the intestine to help digest food.
The pancreas is made up of a system of ducts, the main duct being the pancreatic duct. The pancreatic duct drains the digestive enzymes into the duodenum (small intestine) where they begin aiding in digestion. Other parts of the pancreas include the following:
- Uncinate process— the part of the pancreas that bends backwards behind the body of the pancreas;
- Head— the widest part of the pancreas. This is located more on your right side next to the duodenum;
- Neck—the part between the head and body of the pancreas;
- Body— the middle part between the neck and the tail;
- Tail— the thin tip of the pancreas located near the spleen.
Your doctor may refer to these different parts of the pancreas when talking about treatment options.
The following conditions are serious medical problems. A patient with one of these diseases should see a gastroenterologist as soon as possible.
Bile Duct Cancer