• Pancreas is retro-peritoneal

  • Extends from the the epigastric region to the left hypochondrium

  • Lies across the posterior abdominal wall along transpyloric plane over bodies of L1/ L2

  • It runs from the concavity of duodenum to hilum of spleen


  • Head
  • Neck
  • Body
  • Tail

These parts have different relations all important, and are best studied separately.

Name parts 1-4 of the duodenum


The head :  

Lies in curve of the duodenum and anteriorly, is separated from the stomach by the lesser sac.

Posteriorly: it is related to

  • Inferior vena cava
  • Right renal vessels
  • Left renal vessels
  • Common bile duct (sometimes embedded)

The head has a prolongation called the uncinate process which lies between the superior mesenteric vessels and the aorta.

Notice, that by virtue of this relationship(s) cancer of head of the pancreas causes

  1. Obstruction to the bile duct obstructive jaudice
  2. Obstruction of the IVC oedema of the lower extremity.

The neck :  

Anteriorly covered by peritoneum and related also to the pylorus of the stomach.

Posteriorly grooved by superior mesenteric vessels. The superior mesenteric vein is joined by the splenic vein posterior to the neck of the pancreas to form the portal vein.

The posterior surface is in contact with

  • Aorta
  • Superior mesenteric artery
  • Let supra renal gland
  • Left kidney and its vessels
  • Intimately related to the splenic vein



The tail :  
  • Passes between the two layers of the lienorenal ligament, together with the splenic vessels

  • Its tip contacts the hilum of the spleen.



Retroperitoneal organs