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What is a Duodenal Switch Procedure?

The duodenal switch procedure is a relatively new type of bariatric surgery that many people are using to great benefit. Sometimes abbreviated BPD/DS, duodenal switch surgery is so named because it has two major components to the procedure.

What Exactly is a Duodenal Switch Procedure?

The first portion of the small intestine is known as the duodenum. This part of the body is located just outside the stomach outlet. In a duodenal switch procedure, the duodenum is divided into two pieces where the small intestine meets the stomach.

A small portion of the small intestine is connected to the stomach that is just been created. This redirects food through the artificially created stomach pouch, emptying the stomach directly into the last part of the small intestine.

The purpose of the surgery is to bypass as much of the small intestine as possible, and in a successful surgery, up to three-forths of the small intestine will be bypassed.

What Does Duodenal Switch Surgery Do?

The duodenal switch procedure is meant to help patients consume less food overall. However, the effects of the surgery are not permanent; eventually, patients will be able to consume just as much food as they could before the surgery.

The true purpose of a duodenal switch procedure is to allow a patient a bit of leeway to create new habits in his or her daily life. As the stomach returns to normal, the patient will have new ways of thinking about diet and exercise that will help to maintain the weight loss created during the first part of the surgery.

An additional advantage of a duodenal switch procedure is that consumed food does not mix with any pancreatic enzymes or bile until it gets to the last part of the small intestine. This means that many nutrients and calories will not get absorbed by the body, both good and bad.

Protein, fat and the vitamins that are dependent on fat in order to be absorbed will not find their way into the body. This is something that patients will have to consider as they move forward in the recovery process.

What are the Results of a Successful Duodenal Switch Procedure?

A successful surgery can help the patient lose anywhere from 60 to 70% of excess weight within five years. The absorption of fat in the body is reduced by up to 70%.

Unlike some of the other bariatric surgeries, the duodenal switch can actually cause favorable changes in body hormones. Most importantly, the patient’s appetite will eventually return to normal.

Patients are always advised to adhere to their follow-up visits in order to ensure that a duodenal switch procedure is completed correctly.