Saturday, July 23, 2011

Your Aorta Is The Size Of A What?!

by Kris Pitcher

You might not spend much time thinking about what's on the inside. So, I thought I'd share this interesting factoid with you. Your aorta is the size of a garden hose. And cue crickets...

Have you noticed the size of your garden hose lately? IT'S HUGE! It's a fist full for sure. Now, imagine that inside your chest cavity and running down to your abdomen. How is this not cool? It is cool. I'm going with that.

The aorta is your largest artery. Arteries carry oxygenated blood for distribution in your body. That's how oxygen is delivered. (You can stop buying that oxygen water now.)

We can think about it in 3 anatomical parts; the ascending aorta, the aortic arch, and the descending aorta. That sort of describes how it branches from our heart. From there it delivers oxygenated blood to our head, torso, and limbs.

It's made up of smooth muscle. We have three kinds of muscle, remember? Smooth, skeletal and cardiac. So, the aorta is smooth muscle, nerves, and other cell types. It's complicated, but I'm simple. Smile...

The next time you're washing your car, or watering the garden...take a look at the garden hose. Imagine the diameter of that inside you. Still crickets? Well, I can't help but think what's going on inside us is pretty remarkable. Amazing really. And now you know a little more about what's happening on the inside!

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