The aorta is the largest artery in your body. It originates from the left ventricle of your heart down to your abdomen before it branches off into smaller arteries. The two arteries that branch off at the end of the aorta are called the common iliacs. There are 5 segments in your aorta. First is the ascending aorta. It is the segment in between the heart and the arch of aorta. It is the part connecting the heart and the rest of the aorta. Next is the arch of aorta. It is the part that looks like an inverted “U”. It is the peak of the aorta. And lastly are the descending parts of the aorta, the thoracic aorta and the abdominal aorta. The thoracic aorta is the section of the aorta above the diaphragm. It is, as its name states, in the thoracic, or chest, cavity. The abdominal aorta is the half of the descending aorta that is below the diaphragm. This is where the aorta branches off into the two common iliacs.
The aorta, as I said earlier, is the largest artery in your body. And an artery is responsible for delivering blood to all of the parts in your body. They deliver the clean blood out of the heart to your arms, legs, head, and the rest of your body. What makes the aorta special, other than its size is its location. The aorta is the artery that is directly connected to your heart. So the only way for your blood to leave your heart and reach the other parts and organs is through your aorta.
To help explain how the aorta works, I’ll briefly explain how the circulatory system works. Dirty, or deoxygenated, blood, blood that has been through the other organs and parts of your body, enters your heart through the two main veins, the superior and inferior vena cavae. Then it goes through the right atrium down to the right ventricle of your heart where it is pumped to your lungs and exits via the pulmonary artery. The blood is oxygenated in your lungs and it flows back to your heart through the pulmonary vein. It then enters the left atrium then goes through the left ventricle where it is pumped hard and goes out of your heart via the aorta. From the aorta, blood flows to the rest of your body. Then the cycle is closed when the blood flows back to your heart.
The aorta is important in circulating blood. Without the aorta, clean blood cannot flow out of your heart.