On what side of the body is the pancreas located?


Quick Answer

The pancreas is located on the left side of the body, explains John Hopkins University. A section of the organ rests inside the curve of the duodenum while the other part is lodged between the spine and the stomach. A duct links the pancreas to the duodenum.

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Full Answer

The pancreas is made up of four parts: the head, the neck, the body and the tail, explains John Hopkins University. The head is the widest part of the pancreas and is further sectioned into two: the head and the ucinate process. The head rests inside the fold of duodenum on the right side of the body while the ucinate process curves towards the rear of the abdomen. The second part, the neck, connects the head to the rest of the pancreas; located immediately after it is the third part, the body. The final section of the pancreas is known as the tail.

The pancreas is actually a combination of two glands; exocrine glands and endocrine glands, according to John Hopkins University. Exocrine glands make up much of the pancreas and are responsible for producing digestive enzymes. These enzymes flow through a series of tubes that eventually drain into the pancreatic duct, the tube linking the pancreas to the duodenum. Unlike exocrine glands, endocrine glands do not produce enzymes. Instead, they secrete hormones such as insulin and glucagon into the bloodstream. These hormones play an important role in regulating blood sugar levels.

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