The Gastrointestinal System

Get information about the Gastrointestinal System and how each major organ functions.

  • Colon

    The large intestine is horse-shoe shaped and extends around the small intestine like a frame.

    Its function is to absorb water from the remaining indigestible food matter, and then to pass this waste material from the body.

  • Pancreas

    A fish-shaped organ that stretches across the back of the abdomen, behind the stomach.

    The pancreas is both an endocrine gland producing several important hormones, including insulin, glucagon, and somatostatin, as well as an exocrine gland, secreting pancreatic juice containing digestive enzymes that pass to the small intestine.

  • Gall Bladder

    The gallbladder is a structure on the underside of the liver on the right side of the abdomen. The function of the gallbladder is to store bile that is produced in the liver before the bile is secreted into the intestines. Bile secreted into the intestines helps the body digest fats.

  • Stomach

    The stomach is a J shaped expanded bag, located just left of the midline between the esophagus and small intestine. It is divided into four main regions and has two borders called the greater and lesser curvatures. The stomach is where digestion of protein begins.

  • Small Intestine

    The small intestine is compressed into numerous folds and occupies a large proportion of the abdominal cavity. The duodenum is the proximal C-shaped section that curves around the head of the pancreas.

    The small intestine performs the majority of digestion and absorption of nutrients. Partly digested food from the stomach is further broken down by enzymes from the pancreas and bile salts from the liver and gallbladder.

    After further digestion, food constituents such as proteins, fats, and carbohydrates are broken down to small building blocks and absorbed into the body's blood stream.

  • Liver

    The liver is the largest one of the most important internal organs, taking part in almost every vital process of the body.

    The liver:
    Stores vitamins, sugars, fats, and other nutrients from the food you eat, and the releases them into your body as needed.

    Builds compounds that your body needs to stay healthy. The liver takes simpler substances and turns them into protein to clot blood, make new cells, and create necessary chemical reactions inside cells. Removes waste products from your blood.

    Breaks down harmful substances, like alcohol and other toxic (poisonous) chemicals, and turns then into harmless chemicals that your body can handle.

  • Rectum

    The last 6 to 8 inches of the large intestine. The rectum stores solid waste until it leaves the body through the anus.

Cologuard Technology



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Vernon Receives Recognition – North Carolina Gastroenterologist



The practice of Kurt Vernon, MD, The GI Guy, is proud to announce that we have received a ‘Tier 1 Designation”, a high quality recognition from one of the nation’s largest health insurers – Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC.  BCBSNC Tiered Network utilizes administrative claims data to identify high quality, low cost providers and Read More…