The pancreas is a glandular organ that is located deep in the abdomen between the stomach and the spine. It is about 6 inches long and is connected to the duodenum (the first part of the small intestine) through a small tube known as the pancreatic duct. The head of the pancreas is on the right side of the abdomen and the tail (narrow end of the pancreas) extends to the left side of the body.
It forms an integral part of the digestive system by acting as a connecting link of the pancreatic duct and bile duct with the duodenum. Surrounded by the stomach, intestine and other body organs, pancreas produces several hormones and pancreatic juices that aid in the normal functioning of the body.
Pancreas is made up of exocrine (inner) cells and endocrine (outer) cells. The endocrine cells consist of islets of langerhans which produce and secrete hormones namely insulin and glucagon into the bloodstream. These hormones play a vital role in maintaining the normal blood sugar level in the body. The exocrine cells are made up of acinar cells which produce pancreatic juices that contain enzymes which help in the digestion of food
The clinical conditions that affect the functioning of the pancreas are type1 diabetes, type2 diabetes, pancreatic cancer, cystic fibrosis, pancreatitis and enlarged pancreas.