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Duodenal Switch

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The duodenal switch is a restrictive and malabsorptive operation typically reserved for patients with severe obesity or obesity-related illnesses. This means we will surgically restrict the amount of food you can ingest, and we will significantly bypass the intestine so fewer calories are absorbed resulting in significant weight loss.

The operation begins with the restrictive portion of the procedure. The surgeon divides the stomach into two parts with a surgical stapler: the “sleeve” and the “remaining stomach.”

  • The “sleeve” is your new stomach and is about the size of a banana. This new and smaller stomach will restrict the amount of food that can be eaten.
  • The “remaining stomach” will be removed and discarded during the surgery.
  • Next, the surgeon will perform the malabsorptive portion of the procedure. The surgeon will cut the upper portion of the small intestine into two parts. The bottom part will be pulled up and attached to the new “pouch.” The remaining intestine will be reattached to the lower portion of the small intestine. The duodenal switch bypasses a significant portion of the small intestine creating significant malabsorption.

Food will travel from the mouth into the small pouch. Because the new sleeve is small, you should feel full sooner than you had in the past. The food will then continue into the intestine and digestion will occur.

After duodenal switch, you can expect to stay 2-3 nights in the hospital. You will also need to follow a special diet to allow for healing and to avoid complications. Most patients return to a regular healthy eating plan in about two months. Because the new pouch is so small and a significant portion of the intestine has been bypassed, certain vitamins and minerals can no longer be absorbed like they once were. Therefore, vitamin and mineral supplements are essential for the rest of your life.