Normal Digestive System

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HOME ›› OBESITY SURGERY ›› FACTS ABOUT OBESITY SURGERY ›› NORMAL DIGESTIVE SYSTEM

Normal digestive system

Normal digestive system

Normal digestive system

To better understand how weight loss surgery works, it is important to understand how your gastrointestinal tract functions. As the food you consume moves through the gastrointestinal tract, various digestive juices and enzymes are introduced at specific stages that allow absorption of nutrients.

  1. Esophagus is a long muscular tube, which moves food from the mouth to the stomach.
  2. Stomach: Here the food is mixed with an acid that is produced to assist in digestion. The pylorus is a small round muscle located at the outlet of the stomach and the entrance to the duodenum (the first section of the small intestine). It closes the stomach outlet while food is being digested into a smaller, more easily absorbed form. When food is properly digested, the pylorus opens and allows the contents of the stomach into the duodenum.
  1. Small intestine is about 4.5 to 6 meters long and is where the majority of the absorption of the nutrients from food takes place. The small intestine is made up of three sections: the duodenum, the jejunum and the ileum.
  2. Duodenum is the first section of the small intestine and is where the food is mixed with bile produced by the liver and with other juices from the pancreas. This is where much of the iron and calcium is absorbed.
  3. Jejunum is the middle part of the small intestine extending from the duodenum to the ileum; it is responsible for digestion.
  4. Ileum is the site for absorption of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K and other nutrients.
  5. Large intestine is the site where excess fluids are absorbed and a firm stool is formed.