Duodenal Switch Joins the RealSelf Community

Kirsty at RealSelf on 30 Nov 2010 at 12:12pm

Today marks the first Duodenal Switch review on RealSelf.com by new community member IkIk. We'd like to say a big welcome to lklk and to the introduction of the duodenal switch procedure on RealSelf.

Duodenal switch, also known as biliopancreatic diversion, is a form of bariatric surgery. It is composed of two parts. First, the procedure restricts the size of your stomach by removing 70% of it. The second part of the procedure is to redirect a portion of the small intestine in order to reduce the amount of time the body has to absorb calories and fat from food. Redirecting the small intestine results in most duodenal switch patients only absorbing 20% of their daily fat intake.

The main difference between the duodenal switch and the more popular RNY procedure, gastric bypass, is that the duodenal switch divides the stomach and removes only the acid-producing tissue; this leaves you with an almost-natural stomach. It then redirects the small intestine and works by restricting the absorption of calories and fat. However, the stomach will eventually stretch to accept a normal-sized meal and the body will rely on not absorbing calories and fat in order to maintain the weight loss.

On the other hand, the RNY gastric bypass converts the stomach into a small pouch and creates an artificial outlet to the small intestine. This does result in some side effects, such as dumping syndrome; however, the pouch should not stretch to accommodate normal-sized meals.

As with any surgery, the reasons for and against, as well as the risks, have to be assessed based on each individual, their needs, wants and medical history. You must always speak to a doctor and discuss with them what best suits your needs.

Want to know more? Ask a question in our Bariatric Doctor Q&A section.