Duodenal Switch

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The Duodenal Switch, a bariatric surgical procedure colloquially known as biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch, serves as a potent remedy for corpulence. This intricate operation encompasses a dual-pronged approach: diminishing the stomach's capacity and modifying the small intestine's trajectory, thereby curtailing caloric and nutritional assimilation. Given its capacity for substantial and enduring weight reduction, it has garnered acclaim among those grappling with acute obesity. Adept bariatric surgeons, armed with an impressive repertoire of experience, are the ones typically entrusted to execute this formidable technique. (1) (2) (3)

Boasting a remarkable 90% success rate, the Duodenal Switch procedure enables a vast majority of recipients to shed at least half of their surplus adipose tissue, with many experiencing even more significant results. The surgical intervention shares a commensurate triumph in addressing concomitant health maladies. An impressive 90% of individuals afflicted by Type 2 diabetes find themselves liberated from the shackles of medication post-procedure. (4) (5) (6)

Duodenal Switch
Procedure Details
Duration 3 hour
Age Limit + 18 years old
Pain after surgery 2-3 weeks
Working after surgery 3 Week
Anesthesia General Anesthesia
Hospital Stay 2-3 Day
Recovery Time 1-2 Month
Surgical Procedure Yes

What is Duodenal Switch Surgery?

Duodenal Switch, also known as Biliopancreatic Diversion with Duodenal Switch (BPD-DS), is a weight loss surgery that involves the removal of a portion of the stomach and rerouting the small intestine to limit the amount of food that can be consumed and decrease the absorption of calories and nutrients. The procedure is performed in two steps. 

In the first step, a sleeve gastrectomy is performed to remove a portion of the stomach, reducing its size and limiting the amount of food that can be consumed. In the second step, the small intestine is rerouted to bypass a significant portion of the small intestine, reducing the absorption of calories and nutrients.

It is important to note that Duodenal Switch surgery is a complex and irreversible procedure that requires a significant commitment to lifestyle changes to achieve optimal results. Patients must be willing to make significant changes to their diet and exercise habits to maximize the benefits of the surgery. In addition, patients who undergo the surgery may experience some potential risks and complications such as bleeding, infection, and malnutrition. 

Therefore, it is important to discuss the potential risks and benefits of the procedure with a qualified healthcare professional to determine if it is the right option for you. Overall, Duodenal Switch surgery is a highly effective procedure for individuals who are struggling with obesity and related health issues.

How Long is the Duodenal Switch Procedure?

The Duodenal Switch surgery is performed under general anesthesia and typically takes about four hours to complete. In the first step, the surgeon removes approximately 70% of the stomach to create a smaller, banana-shaped stomach. This restricts the amount of food that can be eaten, leading to a feeling of fullness sooner. After that the surgeon reroutes a portion of the small intestine to create separate pathways. 

The first pathway carries digestive juices from the liver and pancreas to the last segment of the small intestine, while the second pathway carries food from the stomach to the middle segment of the small intestine.

It is worth noting that the second step of the procedure, which involves rerouting the small intestine, is what sets Duodenal Switch apart from other weight loss surgeries such as gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy. By rerouting the small intestine, the surgery reduces the absorption of calories and nutrients, leading to more significant weight loss and improvements in obesity-related health conditions. 

However, this also means that patients who undergo this surgery may experience more significant changes in their bowel movements and digestion. It is important for patients to follow their doctor's instructions closely and to maintain regular follow-up appointments to ensure optimal healing and recovery after the procedure.

Duodenal Switch Risks and Side Effects

According to Mayo Clinic, BPD/DS surgery, like other significant procedures, brings several short-term and enduring risks. As a considerable surgical intervention, it demands serious consideration and understanding of potential complications.

Immediate risks encompass:

  • High chances of bleeding excessively.
  • Potential infection at surgical sites.
  • Possible adverse reactions to anesthesia.
  • Development of blood clots post-operation.
  • Complications such as lung or breathing issues.
  • Leakage within the gastrointestinal system.

For long-term considerations:

  • The patient might encounter bowel obstruction.
  • Dumping syndrome may induce diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting.
  • Formation of gallstones is a possible complication.
  • There’s a risk of developing hernias post-surgery.
  • It might result in cases of low blood sugar.
  • Risk of malnutrition due to absorption issues.
  • Possibility of stomach perforation over time.
  • Ulcers and consistent vomiting are additional risks to consider.

Who is a Good Candidate for Duodenal Switch?

Not everyone is a candidate for Duodenal Switch surgery. This procedure is typically recommended for individuals who have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher, or for those who have a BMI of 35 or higher with an obesity-related health condition such as type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, or high blood pressure. In addition, candidates for Duodenal Switch should have a history of failed attempts at non-surgical weight loss methods such as diet and exercise.

It is important to note that Duodenal Switch surgery is not a "quick fix" solution for weight loss. Candidates must be committed to making significant lifestyle changes to achieve long-term success after the surgery. Patients who undergo this procedure must be willing to adhere to a strict diet and exercise regimen, as well as attend regular follow-up appointments with their healthcare provider. 

In addition, patients who have a history of alcohol or substance abuse may not be good candidates for the surgery, as it can exacerbate these issues. A thorough evaluation by a qualified healthcare professional is necessary to determine if Duodenal Switch surgery is the right option for an individual's unique situation.

Duodenal Switch Post-Op

After the surgery, patients can expect to stay in the hospital for a few days to recover. During this time, patients are closely monitored by medical staff to ensure their safety and comfort. Following discharge from the hospital, patients will need to follow a strict diet and exercise regimen to aid in the healing process and achieve optimal weight loss. The diet will typically consist of liquids and soft foods for the first few weeks, with a gradual reintroduction of solid foods over time.


Patients who undergo Duodenal Switch surgery can expect to lose a significant amount of weight within the first year. On average, patients can expect to lose 60-80% of their excess body weight within the first 12-18 months. The weight loss typically continues for up to two years after the surgery. In addition to weight loss, patients can expect to see improvements in obesity-related health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, and high blood pressure.

In conclusion, Duodenal Switch surgery is a highly effective weight loss procedure that combines restrictive and malabsorptive techniques to achieve significant weight loss. It is typically recommended for individuals who are morbidly obese or suffer from obesity-related health issues.

Patients who undergo Duodenal Switch surgery can expect to see significant weight loss and improvements in their overall health and quality of life. If you are considering Duodenal Switch surgery, it is important to consult with a qualified healthcare professional to determine if you are a candidate and to discuss the risks and benefits of the procedure.

  • (1) - https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentTypeID=135&ContentID=64

    (2) - https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/biliopancreatic-diversion-with-duodenal-switch/about/pac-20385180

    (3) - https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/treatment-tests-and-therapies/bpdds-weightloss-surgery

    (4) - https://myhealth.ucsd.edu/Coronavirus/135,64

    (5) - https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentTypeID=135&ContentID=64

    (6) - https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/22725-duodenal-switch