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When to Consider a Duodenal Switch

If you’re severely overweight or obese and have reached your limit with your food issues, you may be seeking a new solution. It’s time to consider a bariatric surgery called duodenal switch. About 20,000 Americans undergo this procedure every year, so you’re not alone.

Our board-certified bariatric and general surgeons, Dexter Turnquest, MD, and Victoria Chang, MD, at Turnquest Surgical Solutions perform the duodenal switch and other bariatric procedures routinely. We work with you to determine the best approach to deal with your weight. 

Various options are available depending on your health conditions and your motivation. 

What happens during duodenal switch surgery? 

The goal of biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch (BPD/DS), better known as duodenal switch surgery, is to greatly decrease the size of your stomach to prevent overeating. 

We perform this surgery in two steps. First, we remove a good portion of your stomach, so the amount you can consume in one sitting is much smaller. The next step of the surgery bypasses most of your small intestine, cutting the calories your body can absorb. 

We join one end of your small intestine to the duodenum, which we place at the beginning of the small intestine near your stomach. 

When it’s time to consider duodenal switch surgery

If you’re severely obese and have tried nonsurgical approaches to weight loss over a number of years only to continue a failure cycle, you may be a candidate for duodenal switch. 

Obesity may have limited your mobility so you don’t get the regular exercise you need. You may even be on several medications for different health conditions that worsened as your obesity became long-term. 

Do you have a body mass index (BMI) of 50 or more, or a BMI of 40 or more with other challenging health conditions? If you have any of the following health issues along with a high BMI, we discuss whether the duodenal switch is the best option to improve your health and quality of life: 

Benefits of the duodenal switch

There are obvious benefits to this weight loss surgery.

Significant weight loss

You can expect to lose at least 60% and up to 80% of your excess weight within two years post-surgery. That is a powerful motivator. 

Feeling full quickly when eating 

The size of your stomach is reduced by 80%. You’ll feel full quickly and won’t be able to overeat. 

Fewer feelings of hunger 

Your stomach produces fewer hormones that make you feel hungry, so you won’t have cravings to overconsume. 

Improved health conditions 

Your general health should improve with the duodenal switch surgery. Because you’re eating fewer unhealthy foods that cause high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, and diabetes, many of those conditions should improve significantly. 

Other health conditions may also improve:

Screening for the duodenal switch 

How motivated are you to take off the weight? The duodenal switch surgery requires you to change your eating habits and to commit to taking vitamin supplements for the remainder of your life. 

You’ll need long-term follow-up under a doctor’s care to monitor your health and ensure you’re getting enough nutrients. The surgery changes your ability to absorb calories and nutrition, so you’ll need blood tests and regular medical attention post-surgery. 

Contact one of our two Houston, Texas, offices today to learn more or book a consultation.

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