While gastric bypass and LAP-BAND surgery have a higher profiles in media and support forums throughout the United States, it often surprises people to know that duodenal switch weight loss surgery has better weight loss results and higher levels of patient satisfaction than either of the more commonly performed procedures.
Duodenal switch surgery is a more complicated procedure than some of the other weight loss surgeries; but it can be a good choice for a variety of reasons. Basically, this surgery works to restrict the amount of food that can be eaten as well as bypassing most of the duodenum causing less food to be absorbed by the body. Although a significant amount of the stomach is removed during the surgery, it differs from gastric bypass by retaining the valve between the stomach and the intestines known as the pylorus. Retaining this valve eliminates the problem of dumping syndrome that gastric bypass patients sometimes experience. The incidence of stomal ulcers which can occur after gastric bypass surgery is also reduced because of the technique used for making the stomach smaller does not include creating a stoma.
Even though the size of the stomach is restricted, it is less than either gastric bypass or gastric banding and so the diet of a duodenal switch patient is much closer to normal than with the other procedures. This aspect of the procedure generally results in a higher degree of satisfaction among patients who have duodenal switch. Additionally, the removal of the left half of the stomach takes with it the area where most of the hunger hormone ghrelin is produces. This results in reduced appetite following duodenal switch.
Weight loss from the duodenal switch is estimated between 60 and 80% of excess weight, which is higher than other weight loss procedures.
Although duodenal switch offers several advantages over other weight loss procedures, it is a major surgery that requires lifelong changes in behavior for it to be successful. Its complexity restricts the number of surgeons offering doudenal switch surgery, so it is frequently not presented as an option for people suffering from obesity who may benefit from the procedure.