Anatomy of the Pancreas (Nursing)

by Darren Salmi, MD, MS

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    00:01 So our next sensory organ of digestion is the pancreas.

    00:05 And like the liver, it doesn't just aid in digestion.

    00:09 It has other functions as well.

    00:12 Here we see the duodenum has a very strong close relationship to the pancreas.

    00:18 It forms something of a C shape that sort of houses this large portion of the pancreas.

    00:26 The bile duct again comes from the liver and passes posteriorly behind the pancreas in order to reach its destination, which is the major duodenal papilla.

    00:37 Or this bump on the inner surface of the duodenum, where bile is going to enter the GI tract.

    00:45 The pancreas has a bunch of cells called acinar cells making up the majority of the volume of the pancreas that's going to secrete digestive enzymes that are going to break down fats, and proteins, and lipids and whatnot.

    01:01 And those are going to help in the digestive process along with bile which is helping with fat breakdown.

    01:10 They're also going to secrete bicarbonate.

    01:13 And that's important because the duodenum is the first part of the small intestine to receive the contents of the stomach and the stomach has a lot of acid.

    01:22 So bicarbonate helps to neutralize some of the acid that's made its way into the duodenum.

    01:28 And also helps make sure that those digestive enzymes work properly at the right pH.

    01:35 The non-digestive portion or non-exocrine portion of the pancreas is the endocrine portion.

    01:43 And that's where hormones are being made.

    01:46 And they're coalesced into spherical areas called the islets of Langerhans.

    01:51 And again, they have a hormonal role, and they're going to secrete their substances into the bloodstream.

    01:57 So here again, we have the duodenum with this somewhat C-shaped that houses the bulk of this pancreas here.

    02:06 And this portion that's nestled up against the C shape of the duodenum is called the head of the pancreas.

    02:13 There is a tiny little nubbin below here called the uncinate process.

    02:19 And this sort of unequal relationship to the rest of the pancreas reflects the nature of its development.

    02:27 The pancreas actually formed from two separate buds.

    02:29 One smaller one, and one larger one.

    02:32 And this unscented process is the remnant of that smaller bud.

    02:37 After the head, we have the neck of the pancreas.

    02:41 And that's the portion that's going to sit over the superior mesenteric vessels.

    02:48 So we have a superior mesenteric vein and an artery.

    02:53 And that superior mesenteric vein is going to be one of the things that supplies the portal vein of the liver.

    02:59 Whereas the superior mesenteric artery is a branch off of the aorta.

    03:05 After the neck is the body of the pancreas.

    03:09 And then the last part, which is going to be very closely related to the hilum of the spleen is the tail.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Anatomy of the Pancreas (Nursing) by Darren Salmi, MD, MS is from the course Anatomy of the Gastrointestinal System (Nursing).

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Acinar cells
    2. Ductal cells
    3. Papillary cells
    4. Islet cells
    5. Endocrine cells
    1. Pancreatic neck
    2. Pancreatic body
    3. Pancreatic head
    4. Pancreatic tail
    5. Uncinate process

    Author of lecture Anatomy of the Pancreas (Nursing)

     Darren Salmi, MD, MS

    Darren Salmi, MD, MS

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