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Severely Obese? You Might be a Good Candidate for a Duodenal Switch

The obesity epidemic is alive and well. The national obesity rate for adults in the United States stands at 40%, and it continues to climb higher each year, reaching new heights. In fact, the number of obese adults has increased by 70% in just the last three decades. 

The rate of increase for the super obese — if your body mass index (BMI) is over 50 — is expanding exponentially. In 1987, only one out of 2,000 adults in the US were defined as super obese. Now, 1 in 400 adults, or more than 50,000 people, meet that mark. 

If you’re severely obese, you likely have Type 2 diabetes, which can lead to other major complications and diseases such as amputations, heart disease, kidney disease, and stroke. You also have double the chance of dying from such a health condition.  

At Turnquest Surgical Solutions, our board-certified bariatric surgeons work with you to find the best surgical weight loss solution. We may recommend duodenal switch surgery, also called biliopancreatic diversion, or BPD/DS.

What happens during duodenal switch surgery? 

The first part of the operation decreases the size of your stomach. We leave a space the size of a narrow tube, stapling the stomach from top to bottom. 

We then divide the small intestine, bypassing a large section of it and rerouting food to near the end of it. Then we attach the end of your small intestine to your duodenum, the shortest section of your small intestine, at the base of the stomach. This procedure also reduces the amount of food you can absorb, so you have to consume less. 

What are the benefits of duodenal switch surgery? 

A major study at the University of Chicago found that patients who underwent the duodenal switch lost more weight and were more successful at maintaining the weight loss when compared to those who had gastric bypass, the standard procedure. 

Patients typically lose 70-80% of their excess weight within two years of the duodenal switch operation if they follow doctor’s orders. 

The Chicago study compared the results at one year and at three years post-surgery. The researchers concluded that duodenal switch surgery is likely to be more beneficial for people with a BMI of 50 than the gastric bypass procedure.

Another benefit: Although the amount you consume is going to be smaller, you’ll still be able to eat more than with other types of weight loss surgery. Patients naturally like this aspect of the results. 

One caveat: You need to be sure to take vitamin and mineral supplements every day for the long-term because your body isn’t able to digest food as it used to do when the food made its way down the entire length of your small intestine. 

At Turnquest Surgical Solutions, we review your medical history, conduct tests, and discuss options with you to help you achieve your weight loss goal. No two cases are the same. The consultation helps you review the potential benefits of each option versus any downsides. 

Call or request an appointment online at one of our two Houston, Texas, locations for expert, compassionate surgical weight loss care.

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