Q:

Where does the thoracic duct drain the lymph?

A:

Quick Answer

According to the University of Illinois, the thoracic duct drains the lymph fluid into the right and left subclavian veins. It collects this lymph from the lower part of the body, including the legs and the organs of the digestive system.

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Full Answer

The University of Illinois explains that the lymph system is relatively passive, relying on gravity and body movements to force lymph to the ducts, where it is drained into the bloodstream. It uses unidirectional valves to keep lymph moving up from the legs and other lower parts of the body from flowing backward. The thoracic duct, however, does have some smooth muscle tissue to help move the lymph along.

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