Duodenal Switch

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Duodenal Switch


Duodenal switch is one of the efficient weight loss surgical procedures, which works primarily by malabsorption. This surgery can be performed laparoscopically (minimal invasive method) or as an open operation. 

Duodenal switch can help achieve weight loss in people with a BMI of more than 60kg/m2.

What does the procedure involve?

The first step creates a pouch. The surgeon uses metal staples that are similar to stitches and then cut through the stomach. The new stomach pouch is about a quarter of the size of the original stomach. The remainder of the stomach is removed.

As with the bypass, the surgeon will then divide your small intestine and attach one end to the pouch. Food will now pass from your pouch into this section of the small intestine. The remainder of your small intestine, which previously was attached to the bottom of your stomach, now joins the other part of the small intestine close to the large intestine.

It means that your digestive juices join the intestine to mix with food right at the end of the small intestine. This way, the absorption of food is greatly reduced.

Additionally, performing a duodenal switch may take 5–7 hours to complete and will usually require a post–op hospital stay of 4–6 days.

How much weight I can lose after duodenal switch surgery?

Following this operation, people tend to lose weight quickly and lose 75–80% of their excess body weight after 5 years. 

Benefits of Duodenal switch surgery:

  • The amount of food you can eat is not restricted
  • Weight loss starts from the time of surgery
  • You can lose an average of 75–80% of your excess weight
  • You may be able to maintain your weight loss better than with other surgeries
  • Resolution of diabetes in 95% of cases after 2 years

However, you may experience frequent loose bowel motions, especially in the first six months post-surgery. Besides, you may suffer from nutritional and vitamin deficiencies and therefore, you would need to take various multivitamins and mineral supplements daily (lifelong). Also, close monitoring for protein malnutrition, anaemia, and bone disease is required after these operations.



  1. https://www.chelwest.nhs.uk/services/surgery/weight-loss-surgery/surgical-options/biliopancreatic-diversion#:~:text=The%20Duodenal%20Switch%20procedure%20is,and%20duodenum%20at%20its%20end.
  2. https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/appndx-7-obesity-surgery-guid.pdf