Duodenal Switch

What is duodenal switch?

Duodenal switch is a weight loss surgery procedure that combines restriction and malabsorption in order for weight loss to occur. Performed, laparoscopically [keyhole surgery], it removes 70% of the stomach in the same way that a sleeve gastrectomy reduces stomach size. 

This surgery promotes weight loss by both restricting the amount of food that can be accommodated in the stomach and by reducing the amount of calories that can be absorbed in the body. This can allow the patient to lose significant weight without having to dramatically alter their eating habits. 

What does duodenal switch involve?

The procedure involves removing approximately 70% of the stomach, in the same way that a sleeve gastrectomy reduces stomach size. Restriction of the stomach capacity is a routine and well accepted approach to weight loss.

In addition to this, the small intestine is used to create two different pathways, one is the digestive loop which carries food to the large intestine through a shortened portion of intestine. The second pathway transports essential bile from the liver to a point close to where the digestive loop empties into the large intestine.

The effect of this procedure is two-fold. Firstly, less food is required before a feeling of fullness is experienced and secondly food is transported to the large intestine in a much shorter period of time, which reduces the amount of time available for the body to capture calories and fat from digested food.

Are there any risks involved?

As with all surgeries there are some potential risks involved.

Post-operative risks include:

  • Pancreatitis 
  • Bleeding
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Infection
  • Bowel obstruction
  • Pneumonia

Long term risks include:

  • Bowel obstruction
  • Excess/loose skin
  • Diarrhoea
  • Anaemia 
  • Hernia  

Do I qualify for a duodenal switch?

Duodenal switch is a relatively new and rare weight loss procedure. However, it is available at BMI Healthcare.

Patients that qualify for this procedure are often at least 100 lbs overweight and have a BMI (body mass index) of 40 or above. Sometimes patients with a BMI between 35 and 39.9 are recommended this surgery if their weight has caused them serious health conditions such as diabetes or hypertension.

To find out if you are a good candidate for this procedure, make an appointment with one of our consultants. They will be able to assess your unique medical needs and go over your weight loss options with you.

Want to look at other treatments? or find it on the A-Z list.