Pancreas: Surface Anatomy – Pancreas and Spleen

by James Pickering, PhD

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    00:01 In this lecture we will look at the Pancreas and Spleen.

    00:06 So we start off by looking at the position of the pancreas and spleen and how they project onto the surface. We'll then look at the gross anatomy, look at the anterior and posterior views of the pancreas. We will look at its structure. We will look at the relationship of pancreas as specifically to the superior mesenteric vessels. And then we will look at the blood supply and its venous drainage. And then towards the end, we will look at the anatomy of the spleen. But let’s concentrate on the pancreas which is this leaf shaped accessory digestive gland that is positioned transversely across the posterior abdominal wall. It's head as we saw previously sits in the concavity of the "C" shaped duodenum. It is involved essentially in producing pancreatic juice which is its exocrine function. And producing glucagon and insulin which is its endocrine function.

    01:01 So if we look at the surface anatomy, then here on the torso we can see we have the "C" shaped duodenum and we have the head of the pancreas sitting in that concavity. We can then have the tail, sorry, the neck and the body and the tail of the pancreas passing transversely across the abdomen.

    01:23 What we would have but we can't see here is in the tail of the pancreas, we would have the spleen which will be positioned over in this left upper quadrant.

    01:33 It’s difficult to see the pancreas when we put all the other organs in position; because it lies posteriorly, the pancreas is a retroperitoneal organ. And we can actually see the pancreas would just be roundabout in this position, deep to the stomach and surrounded intimately via the duodenum.

    01:54 So let’s have some key facts about the pancreas. It’s an elongated accessory organ of digestion. It's leaf shape. As I have mentioned, its head sits within the concavity of duodenum and the tail runs up against the hilum of spleen Its positioned on the posterior wall of lesser sac (omental bursa) and its made up of 5 parts. We have a head, sits against the duodenum.

    02:20 We have a neck, a body and a tail that extend towards the hilum of the spleen.

    02:26 Running inferomedially from the head, we have this hook like process known as the Uncinate process.

    02:33 The root of the transverse mesocolon runs along the Pancreas’s anterior surface. And as I have mentioned, the primary functions of pancreas are exocrine and endocrine. The exocrine which is going to be secreted away from the body, so ultimately, it is secreted out with the stools is it produces pancreatic juice to aid digestion. And the endocrine function which is the release of these hormones into the blood stream like glucagon and insulin.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Pancreas: Surface Anatomy – Pancreas and Spleen by James Pickering, PhD is from the course Abdomen.

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. The uncinate process lies inferomedially.
    2. The uncinate process lies superiomedially.
    3. The uncinate process lies superiolaterally.
    4. The uncinate process lies inferolaterally.
    5. The uncinate process lies posteriomedially.
    1. Anterior
    2. Posterior
    3. Superior
    4. Inferior
    5. Inferomedial
    1. It is an intraperitoneal organ.
    2. The endocrine function is the production of insulin and glucagon.
    3. The exocrine function is the production of pancreatic juice.
    4. It has 5 parts.
    5. It is a retroperitoneal organ.

    Author of lecture Pancreas: Surface Anatomy – Pancreas and Spleen

     James Pickering, PhD

    James Pickering, PhD

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