New research suggests that duodenal switch surgery is more effective at reducing obesity-related health problems than gastric bypass surgery, and leads to greater weight loss in severely obese people.
Duodenal switch surgery does not bypass the stomach. Instead, it actually removes 75% of the stomach and rearranges the small intestine so that the section carrying food from the small stomach does not join with the section carrying digestive juices until very far downstream. This decreases the amount of fat and calories that are absorbed from foods eaten.
Dr. Vivek Prachand of the University of Chicago studied 350 patients who were an average of 200 pounds over their ideal weight. 198 patients underwent duodenal switch surgery and 152 patients had gastric bypass surgery. The researchers followed the patients for three years after surgery and found that the duodenal switch resulted in greater total weight loss, a greater percentage of excess weight loss, and lower BMI.
The study also showed that people who opted for duodenal switch surgery were less likely to need medication for diabetes, hypertension, and dyslipidemia. A full 100% of diabetes sufferers who underwent the duodenal switch surgery were able to stop taking diabetes medication three years after surgery, compared to only 60% of gastric bypass patients.
The only area that gastric bypassed seemed to address better than duodenal switch was acid reflux.
Although duodenal switch surgery seems to be a better option for weight loss and health related problems than gastric bypass surgery, it accounts for less than 10% of weight loss surgeries in the United States at this point. If you’re considering weight loss surgery, you may want to investigate whether any surgeons in your area offer the duodenal switch procedure.