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  • The Sefton Suite
    Aintree University Hospital
    Lower Lane
    Liverpool
    Merseyside
    L9 7AL

    • Main Reception
      0151 330 6551
    • Physiotherapy
      0151 257 6700, 0151 330 6551
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      0151 330 6590
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  • Sefton Suite Diagnostic Centre
    1 Kenilworth Road
    Liverpool
    Merseyside
    L23 3AD

    • Main Reception
      0151 257 6700
    • Appointments
      0151 257 6700
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How weight loss surgery works

General Guidelines

Your body digests food by breaking it down with acids and juices on its journey from mouth to stomach and then through the small intestine. In the process, calories, nutrients and minerals are absorbed into the bloodstream to power the body. Becoming obese interferes with the signal of having "had enough" and people carry on eating. The spare energy is converted into fat and stored. Surgery can either restrict food intake or by-pass part of the digestive system.

Restrictive

Restrictive operations work by reducing the stomach and thus inhibiting hunger. This does not interfere with normal digestion or alter your anatomy so recovery is quicker. The surgeon creates a small pouch at the top of the stomach where food enters. It can store about an ounce of food but may later stretch to two or three ounces. The outlet of the pouch, being only about half an inch in diameter, delays the outflow of food causing a feeling of fullness. You will no longer be able to eat large portions at one time.

Restrictive/Malabsorptive

Malabsorptive surgery prevents your digestive system from processing a proportion of the calories of the food you eat. The food is separated from digestive juices to leave only a short section of the small intestine to absorb nutrients. Operations which combine malabsorption and restriction are the most common. They ration both food intake and the amount of calories and nutrients the digestion takes in. To perform both kinds of operations we nearly always use laparoscopic (keyhole surgery) techniques. The surgeon makes several small incisions through which slender instruments are passed, creating less tissue damage than a large incision.

Normal Digestive Anatomy

Having been partly digested by the stomach, food passes through the duodenum, where it is processed by juices from the pancreas. Nutrients continue to be extracted by the jejunum and ileum, the remaining sections of the 20 foot long small intestine.

Details

The Sefton Suite
Aintree University Hospital
Lower Lane
Liverpool
Merseyside
L9 7AL
Telephone: 0151 330 6551