The esophagus is a part of the digestive system, which is also called the gastrointestinal tract. The esophagus is a long muscular tube that connects the mouth to the stomach. In adults it is about 25 cm long.
When you swallow, the walls of the stomach contract, which causes food to move into the stomach.
The upper part of the esophagus is located behind the trachea, but it separated from it. The trachea connects the nose and mouth to the lungs so that you can breathe.
The area where the esophagus joins up with the stomach is called the gastroesophageal junction.
The esophagus has four layers:
- The mucosa: the inside layer is moist and helps pass food to the stomach without problems.
- The submucosa: contains glads containing mucus to help keep the esophagus moist.
- Muscle: this layer pushes food down to the stomach.
- Adventitia: the outermost layer, which joins the stomach to nearby parts in the body.