Duodenal Switch

The Duodenal Switch procedure generates weight loss by restricting the amount of food that can be eaten. It does this by removing approximately 70 percent of the stomach and rerouting a lengthy portion of the small intestine.

The rerouting of the small intestine reduces the amount of time the body has to capture calories from food in the small intestine and to selectively limit the absorption of fat. As a result, following surgery, patients only absorb approximately 20 percent of the fat they intake.



Advantages

  • A very high percentage of excess weight loss for obese individuals, with a very low risk of significant weight regain.
  • Type 2 diabetics have had a 98 percent "cure"  almost immediately following surgery, due to the metabolic effect from the intestine switch.
  • Other obesity-related conditions were resolved:  hyperlipidemia 99 percent, sleep apnea 92 percent, and hypertension 83 percent.
  • Patients do not experience the dumping syndrome common with people who've undergone the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery.
  • Diet following the DS is more normal and better tolerated than with other surgeries.
  • The malabsorptive component of the DS is fully reversible as no small intestine is actually removed, only re-routed.

Disadvantages

  • Those who undergo the procedure must take vitamin and mineral supplements above and beyond that of the normal population.
  • Because gallstones are a common complication of rapid weight loss following any type of weight loss surgery, some surgeons may remove the gall bladder as a preventative measure. Others prefer to prescribe medication to reduce the risk of post-operative gallstones.
  • Patients require lifelong and extensive blood tests to check for deficiencies in life critical vitamins and minerals.
  • Patients have a higher occurrence of smelly flatus and diarrhea. Although both can usually be mitigated through diet; avoiding simple carbohydrates and fatty foods.
  • The restrictive portion of the DS is not reversible, since part of the stomach is removed.