The pancreas is located in the back portion of the abdomen behind the stomach. It is a small organ that lies between the stomach and the spinal cord. The pancreas extends to connect to the small intestine.
The pancreas plays a key role in the digestive system and the endocrine system. It synthesizes, stores and releases hormones and digestive enzymes. The pancreas produces many important hormones, such as insulin and glucagon, which circulate in the bloodstream at all times. It also releases pancreatic juice, which contains important digestive enzymes that break up carbohydrates, lipids and proteins in the stomach during the digestive process.