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Bariatric Surgery Support Newsletter September 2011

Digestion Interrupted


Weight loss surgery interferes with digestion to help bring about weight loss.

For example, gastric bypass surgery makes the stomach smaller and allows food to bypass part of the small intestine. (If you recall, the small intestine is where most of the nutrients and calories are absorbed.) The stomach is made smaller by creating a small pouch at the top of the stomach. The smaller stomach is then connected directly to the middle portion of the small intestine (jejunum), bypassing the rest of the stomach and the upper portion of the small intestine (duodenum). As a result, food travels directly into the lower part of the small intestine. Bypassing these sections restricts the amount of calories and nutrients that are absorbed into the body, resulting in weight loss.

Gastric banding also affects digestion. It involves placing a silicone band with an inflatable inner collar around the upper stomach to restrict food intake. This creates a small pouch and a narrow passage to the lower stomach that can hold only a small amount of food. The band also controls the stoma (stomach outlet) between the new upper pouch and the lower part of the stomach. This helps you feel full faster. In addition, the food moves more slowly between the upper and lower stomach during digestion. This helps you to eat less and lose weight Read More


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