The pancreas is located posterior to the abdomen. It contains cells that secrete the hormone insulin, and cells that secrete digestive enzymes that aid in the breakdown of food in the gastrointestinal tract. The pancreas secretes these enzymes into the pancreatic duct, which joins the common bile duct from the liver and drains into the small intestine.
Update Date 2/11/2014
Updated by: Todd Eisner, MD, in private practice specializing in gastroenterology, Boca Raton, FL. Affiliate Assistant Professor, Florida Atlantic University School of Medicine. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.