Is the Duodenal Switch Making a Comeback?

Medical illustration of the Duodenal Switch procedure that is a bariatric surgery regaining popularity

The duodenal switch or DS is a very effective weight loss surgery procedure that’s been offered for decades. In fact, in the hands of an experienced bariatric surgeon such as those at Surgical Association of Mobile, it can offer the highest potential excess weight loss of any major procedure. It’s also the gold standard in diabetes resolution, exceeding even the potential of gastric bypass surgery. So why hasn’t the DS become more popular than it is?

The simple answer revolves around two significant considerations. First, the DS is a complex operation. The duodenal dissection is especially challenging with the potential for injury to surrounding structures if not performed appropriately and by an experienced surgeon. As such, many surgeons have decided that the DS’s learning curve is not worth the incrementally greater benefit versus a gastric sleeve or bypass. Also, traditional DS created several G.I. issues that often caused patient discomfort. As a result, many patients were more inclined to undergo a bypass and sacrifice some potential weight loss.

Improvements in DS Technique

Since its inception, however, the technology and technique used to perform a DS have increased dramatically, and some of the biggest concerns of the procedure have been mitigated. For example, novel techniques to dissect the duodenum have reduced the risk of injury to surrounding organs and structures. The advent of robotic surgery has made elements of the procedure more precise.

What Are the results?

As with any bariatric procedure, the results of a DS are primarily reflective of the patient’s willingness and ability to follow a new lifestyle after their procedure. We always help our patients recognize the operation is just a tool, and the actual weight loss comes from dedication and focus on their renewed health. However, it is essential to highlight some of the great success stories of our patients with their respective operations. We encourage you to watch a series of videos with DS patient John, who lost 200 pounds within his first month after surgery. While this result is not typical, it shows what dedication and hard work can do after bariatric surgery.

The first step for patients considering bariatric surgery is to watch our online seminar. From there, one of our patient advocates will reach out to schedule a consultation with the surgeon of your choice. During the consultation, it is essential you speak to your surgeon about which procedure is best for you so you fully understand the pros and cons of each. We offer three major operations – the gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and duodenal switch; all have pros and cons. We encourage you to come to your consultation with an open mind.

We look forward to helping you, so please feel free to contact us at any time if you have questions about the process of bariatric surgery.

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3 Mobile Infirmary Cir, Suite #212,
Mobile, AL 36607

Springhill Medical Center

3715 Dauphin St. Building 2 Suite 6D
Mobile, AL 36608