Duodenal Switch Surgery: Costs of Duodenal Switch

The decision to undergo weight loss surgery is a major one not to be taken lightly. Gathering information and educating oneself as much as possible can go a long way in reducing anxiety and helping to ensure the best overall experience and most successful end result possible. The surgery called the duodenal switch is one of several weight loss surgery options.

The Duodenal Switch Procedure Explained

The duodenal switch surgery procedure involves two components, the first of which is considered “restrictive” and the second “malabsorptive.” The restrictive part of the procedure involves removing about 70% of stomach capacity. The second part of the surgery involves rerouting a substantial part of the patient’s small intestine. The end result is the creation of two pathways that also share a joint pathway.

The shorter of the two resultant pathways is the digestive loop. This channel is responsible for transporting food from the stomach to the common channel. The longer of the two pathways is called the biliopancreatic loop. The function of this channel is to transport bile, moving it from the liver to the common channel.

This common channel is the part of the small intestine in which the contents of the stomach mix with bile before being deposited into the large intestine. The surgery results in reduction of the amount of time the body has to extract calories from the food passing through the small intestine. This arrangement also limits the absorption of fat from the food consumed. The final result is that the altered system will now only absorb about 20% of the fat that the patient ingests.

A more detailed and comprehensive description of the duodenal switch surgery procedure can be found here: www.dsfacts.com/duodenal-switch-procedure.html

Benefits of Duodenal Switch Surgery Over Other Procedures

Why choose the duodenal switch procedure over other surgeries?

Better chance of permanent weight loss. The procedure has statistically shown to result in the greatest amount of weight loss of all of the available weight loss surgeries and procedures, as well as a reduced risk of significant weight re-gain.

Resolution of more health issues. Duodenal switch results in the highest resolution of many obesity-related conditions and illnesses, including diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and high triglycerides.

Patient can retain pre-surgery diet. Post-surgery diet can be closer to what the patient was accustomed to before the surgery than with other procedures. Malnutrition is very uncommon following this procedure.

Fat absorption dramatically reduced. The duodenal switch procedure is an effective choice for patients who tend to eat a lot of fatty foods, as the fat absorption capability of their system will be reduced to only 20%. With this procedure, hunger pangs and appetite are also greatly reduced. This is mainly because the portion of the stomach responsible for producing ghrelein (the hunger hormone) is removed.

The surgery is partially reversible. Since none of the small intestine is actually removed, the malabsorptive portion is fully reversible. However, the restrictive portion (stomach removal) is not reversible. The patient’s stomach will likely expand somewhat over time, though never to its original size.

Risk Factors

Any surgical procedure will involve some degree of risk. However, the risks of the duodenal switch procedure as compared to the hazards and health problems related to severe obesity can seem quite small in comparison. The major risks for the actual procedure include:

• Perforation of the duodenum, bowel or stomach, which can cause a leak.

• Leakage can lead to infection, blood clots and pulmonary embolism.

• Long-term potential risks could include bowel obstruction and hernia.

• Gallstones, which can be a complication of the rapid weight loss that often follows this type of surgery. (For this reason, some surgeons recommend the removal of the gall bladder.)

• Increased smelly flatulence and diarrhea (though these can be reduced by eating fewer fatty foods and simple carbohydrates.)

Patients receiving the duodenal switch procedure will have to be more vigilant about taking vitamin and mineral supplements for the rest of their lives due to the malabsorptive element of the procedure. Suggested supplements include a daily multi-vitamin, calcium and fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Follow-up care including blood tests to check for deficiencies in vitamins and minerals will be required for the rest of the patient’s life.

While a surgical solution for obesity can seem like an extreme measure, in many cases it can transform a person’s life and health. While there are risk factors, it proves to be a life-saving option for many people.