Once food has been consumed, the stomach is the first major stop in the digestive tract. Here, enzymes and acids begin to break food down. For the stomach to work, it needs a constant supply of oxygen-rich blood, which is delivered by two specific arteries.
The right gastric artery is on the side of the stomach where the pylorus (a muscular valve at the end of the stomach) connects to the duodenum (the beginning of the small intestine).
The vessel branches from the common hepatic artery, and it runs two separate courses. The vessel runs along the lesser curvature of the stomach, which is the space between the cardiac and pyloric orifices. The cardiac orifice is the opening at the beginning of the stomach, where it attaches to the esophagus. The pyloric orifice is the end, where it attaches to the small intestine.
The right gastric artery runs a course around the entire greater curvature of the stomach — the large, curving surface of the left side of the stomach — where it meets with the left gastric artery.
While the right gastric artery brings oxygen-rich blood to the stomach, the right gastric vein drains oxygen-depleted blood away, to the common hepatic vein. From there, this blood flows through the rest of the venal system until it comes to the heart, where it is resupplied with oxygen. Afterwards, this newly oxygen-rich blood returns to the heart for recirculation throughout the body.