Duodenal Switch Surgery: Everything You Need to Know

Duodenal Switch Surgery

Duodenal Switch is a weight loss surgery designed to treat people with extreme obesity. In this, sleeve gastrectomy is combined with intestinal bypass. This is the most complicated but also the most effective bariatric surgery. It can help you lose weight more quickly than either the gastric bypass or the sleeve gastrectomy. It can be a suitable solution for you if you are on a quest to find a procedure for extreme obesity.

In this guide, we will thoroughly walk you through what the surgery is. How does it get done and why? Is this surgery safe? And whatnot. So, let’s dig in…

What is duodenal switch surgery?

It is the most drastic of all forms of bariatric surgery. It is often done in the most obese patients with a BMI level of 40. It is the second operation in a two-stage procedure. The first stage is a sleeve gastrectomy.

In this weight loss switch, two parts are included: the small intestine and the stomach. Firstly the surgeons operate to reduce the size of the stomach to make the person’s appetite smaller. In this stage, the surgeon removes the upper level of the stomach. Secondly, they reroute the portion of the small intestine. These two-part mechanisms work together to reduce calorie absorption and limit food intake. 

How is a duodenal switch done and why?

This procedure starts by creating a sleeve gastrectomy. This entails removing about 80% of your stomach. After that, part of your small bowel is bypassed. This means that some portion of the food you eat will not be absorbed. This complex procedure is done under general anaesthesia and experienced surgeons perform this surgery using small incisions in the abdomen. This means that your pain will be minimised and recovery time shortened. This extreme procedure is suitable for individuals with a BMI over 40 or those who have obesity-related health problems.

How does the duodenal switch compare with other common weight-loss surgeries?

If we compare the other weight-loss surgeries like gastric bypass and gastrectomy, the duodenal surgery has more visible outcomes. It is more beneficial for substantial weight loss. Gastric bypass surgery has a lot more long-term data and results than its newer counterpart, duodenal switch surgery. The patient needs to weigh out the risks and rewards of each surgery. It has more expected weight loss than gastric bypass surgery, although it also has many more potential complications than RNY. The RNY bypass is known as the gold standard of bariatric surgery and has been around since 1967.

How much weight can you lose with this procedure?

Patients can see a very drastic weight loss in the first 3 months after Biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch (BPD/DS). In this period, rapid and impressive outcomes are expected. Patients can lose up to 0.5 to 1 pound per day and can lose between 40-90 pounds by the end of the first 3 months post-op.

How effective is the duodenal switch?

You can lose more weight with this procedure than with the gastric bypass. It is a very effective procedure for individuals suffering from weight problems in the long term. However, the future results of the procedure can vary according to the lifestyle of individuals.

Is duodenal switch surgery safe?

Apart from its effectiveness, the procedure comes with more postoperative risks than other weight loss procedures. Individuals can suffer from complications like vitamin deficiencies, bowel movements irregularities, and malnutrition. Nutritional deficiencies can affect the reproductive system, metabolic health, blood pressure regulation, blood sugar regulation, vision n, mental ability to perform, and more.

What is the recovery time from duodenal switch surgery?

Right after the surgery, patients are required to stay at the hospital for 2 to 3 days. This is for quick checks. It is normal to expect exhaustion, tiredness, nausea, and dizziness. You may also experience an emotional breakdown, loss of appetite, gas pain, or loose stool. However, within 3 to 6 weeks, individuals can return to their daily life activities.


We can wrap it up by concluding that the duodenal switch is the most impactful surgery with high results in weight loss. It has long-term results for individuals. If you are willing to get it done, seeking a professional with your medical history is most specifically required. Before going through any procedure it is recommended that individuals make some lifestyle changes because a better lifestyle can lead to a healthy life. 

Recent Articles