Duodenal Switch is a laparoscopic surgery where weight loss is achieved by combining two techniques: food restriction and malabsorption. The procedure involves reducing the size of the stomach and rerouting the intestines. The size of the stomach is reduced by 80% prompting the patient to feel satisfied sooner while eating. The smaller stomach also produces fewer “hunger-causing” hormones, thus patients eat less. The removal of the gallbladder and repositioned intestines causes the body to absorb fewer calories and minerals, therefore less calories are absorbed from the food that patients consume.
How does Duodenal Switch work?
- The procedure takes approximately 2 to 3 hours and begins with a gastric sleeve to remove a large portion of the stomach. The stomach is divided vertically with the portion intact, shaped like a banana. The remaining portion of the stomach connects the esophagus to the top of the small intestine.
- The small intestine is then cut below the duodenum, the portion responsible for chemical digestion.
- Once the top part of the small intestines is detached, the surgeon will then make a second cut to the small intestine several feet down, near the large intestine.
- The remaining portion of the small intestine, attached to the colon, is then connected to the duodenum, allowing the digestive juices produced to mix with the food entering from the stomach.
What is the expected recovery?
With the extent of the Duodenal Switch procedure, patients should plan to remain in the hospital for 2 to 3 days. Patients are generally able to return to work after 2 weeks and can expect a full recovery within 4 to 6 weeks, once the incisions have healed completely. Your stomach will be sensitive at first so you will start on a liquid diet and slowly transition back to solid foods. Patients are then encouraged to implement a restricted diet and vitamin supplement regimen along with adding regular exercise into their daily routine.
What are the benefits?
Patients who choose to undergo Duodenal Switch lose most of their excess weight quickly within the first year following surgery. By the second year, individuals lose approximately 70% to 80% of their excess weight. Duodenal Switch patients are more likely to maintain a healthier weight long-term, and as a result, experience significant improvements to their overall health and more complete resolution of obesity-related conditions.
Patients who have been determined as morbidly obese may suffer from the following health issues:
- Cardiovascular Disease
- Degenerative Joint Disease
- High Cholesterol
- GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease)
- Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)
- Hyperlipidemia (High levels of fat in the blood)
- Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
- Metabolic Syndrome
- Sleep Apnea
If you have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 or higher and experience any of the obesity-related health issues communicated above, you may be a candidate for weight loss surgery.
Contact the expert bariatric surgeons at Longstreet Clinic’s Center for Weight Management to learn more about the Duodenal Switch procedure. Ready to take the first steps to finding a healthier you? Watch our online seminar.