Is Weight Loss Surgery for You?
Severe obesity is a chronic condition that is very difficult to treat.
For some people, surgery to promote weight loss by
restricting food intake or interrupting digestive
processes is an option. But keep in mind that surgery to
produce weight loss is a serious undertaking. You should
clearly understand the pros and cons associated with the
procedures before making a decision.
How Does Weight Loss Surgery Work?
The surgery helps you lose weight by changing the way
your body digests and absorbs food. Your body digests
food to break down what you eat into small pieces of
nutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and
minerals). When the pieces are small enough, the cells
of your body absorb the nutrients to give you
energy to live.
Normally, as food moves along the digestive tract,
appropriate digestive juices and enzymes arrive at the
right place and at the right time to digest and absorb
calories and nutrients. After we chew and swallow our
food, it moves down the esophagus to the stomach, where
a strong acid continues the digestive process. The
stomach can hold about 3 pints of food at one time. When
the stomach contents move to the duodenum, the first
segment of the small intestine, bile and pancreatic
juices speed up digestion. Most of the iron and calcium
in the foods we eat is absorbed in the duodenum. The
jejunum and ileum, the remaining two segments of the
nearly 20 feet of small intestine, complete the
absorption of almost all calories and nutrients. The
food particles that cannot be digested in the small
intestine are stored in the large intestine (made up of
the ascending colon, transverse colon, descending colon,
sigmoid colon and rectum) until eliminated.