Glossary of Medical Terms
and Sword Swallowing Injuries

Animated image of sword swallower by Fred Kahl

Glossary of Medical Terms
Relating to Sword Swallowing

  • Epiglottis - The thin elastic cartilaginous structure located at the root of the tongue that folds over the glottis to prevent food and liquid from entering the trachea during the act of swallowing while food or drink is passing through the pharynx.
  • Esophagus, oesaphagus - The muscular membranous tube for the passage of food from the pharynx to the stomach also known as the gullet
  • Esophageal Sphincter - Muscle at the end of the esophagus just before the stomach which tightens up to close the esophagus and prohibit stomach acids from refluxing into the esophagus
  • Oesophagus - The muscular membranous tube for the passage of food from the pharynx to the stomach; the gullet.
  • Perforation - Puncturing of the esophageal or stomach lining with an object such as a sword
  • Peritonitis - Bacterial infection of the peritoneum caused by perforation of esophageal or stomach lining, often deadly
  • Peristalsis (Esophageal) - The movement of the esophagus, induced by swallowing, in which waves of alternate circular contraction and relaxation propel the contents onward.
  • Pharynx - The passage to the stomach (via esophagus) and lungs (via trachea); in the front part of the neck below the chin and above the collarbone, also known as the upper throat
  • Primary Peristalsis (Esophageal) - Peristalsis that occurs in response to a swallow, and usually travels the full length of the esophagus.
  • Trachea - A thin-walled, cartilaginous tube descending from the larynx to the bronchi and carrying air to the lungs, also known as the windpipe

Anatomy of the Blockhead   Diagram of Head and Neck

Medical Diagrams and Photos Related to Sword Swallowing

Medical Complications of Sword Swallowing

Sword Swallowing and its Side Effects, January 2007 issue of the British Medical Journal

Xrays of Sword Swallowers Swallowing Swords

Science/Medical Events, Conventions, Association Meetings, Documentaries, Interviews

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