Understanding the Duodenal Switch Procedure

You may have never heard of the duodenal switch procedure, let alone the laparoscopic duodenal switch surgery. That’s because few bariatric surgeons offer the procedure since it is arguably the most complex weight loss surgery and requires extra, specialized training. Despite its relative rarity, the duodenal switch procedure is highly effective at helping morbidly obese people achieve a healthy and manageable weight.

What Happens During Surgery?

I perform the duodenal switch surgery laparoscopically, which means I use small incisions and use specialized instruments with a tiny camera to perform the surgery. This makes the procedure, which I call the LapDS, much safer and the recovery easier.

To perform the surgery, I remove part of the ‘stretchy’ part of the stomach, leaving a tubular stomach pouch that still maintains most of the stomach’s normal functions, and just limits the amount of food the patient can eat at one time. Just after the point where the stomach meets the intestines, called the duodenum, I make an incision and bypass a long section of the intestines. This separates digestive juices from the food as the food travels through the reconfigured intestines, and they meet just before the food enters the large intestine, limiting the absorption of the fat and calories consumed.

Advantages of Duodenal Switch

The LapDS combines both of the best techniques for weight loss surgery – limiting the amount of food a patient can eat and limiting the number of calories and fat absorbed – with some some innovative improvements. Some of the benefits of LapDS include:

Long-term and fast weight loss

Smaller incisions

Decreased occurrence of weight re-gain

Cures or lessens many obesity-related illnesses

Allows a more natural eating pattern

Fewer complications because of laparoscopic method

LapDS patient has a more natural stomach and small intestine configuration

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