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Before we discuss your procedure, it is important for you to understand the normal anatomy of the digestive tract, or GI tract.
When you eat or drink, food or liquid travels from your mouth into your stomach through a hollow tube called the esophagus, or food pipe.
In your stomach, acids and enzymes break down the food into a soft ball of food called a food bolus. From the stomach, the food bolus enters the small intestine, another hollow organ that functions to break down and absorb certain parts of the food.
After the remaining food bolus leaves the small intestine, it enters the colon. The colon has almost nothing to do with digestion. Its main function is to remove water from the stool and store it, until you can have a bowel movement and clear the colon of waste.
Next to the duodenum, or the first part of the small intestine, sits the liver, gall bladder and pancreas.
The liver forms bile, which is substance that helps in the digestion and absorption food. Through a series of ducts, bile is transported to the gallbladder, where it is stored. When food enters the duodenum, the gallbladder contracts and sends bile through a hollow tube called the common bile duct, which empties into the duodenum.
The pancreas also makes digestive enzymes that help your small intestine digest and absorb nutrients from the food passing through it. These enzymes travel through the pancreatic duct to the duodenum. The pancreatic duct and the common bile duct, actually form into one just before entering into the duodenum. Normal flow through these tubes is important for digestion and proper function of the small intestine.
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