The pancreas can be one of the more difficult structures for beginning anatomy students.  This is partly because it is a gland that doesn’t preserve well and can fall apart easily when handling the stomach or other organs.  In ideal specimens, the pancreas can be seen as a bumpy structure just underneath the stomach and extending toward the duodenum.

The job of the pancreas is to secretes enzymes that aid in digestion and the hormone insulin, which is necessary for the body to maintain its blood sugar level.   Enzymes from the pancreas travel through the pancreatic duct and and then enter the duodenum.


The pancreas of a preserved cat.