bariatric surgery

Duodenal Switch

Duodenal switch combines two surgical techniques: restrictive and malabsorptive.


The restrictive component reduces the size of the stomach. Your surgeon divides the stomach vertically and removes 75 percent of it. The remaining stomach is banana shaped and about 6 ounces in size.

Duodenal switch leaves the pyloric valve intact, which regulates the release of stomach contents into the small intestine. It also keeps a small part of the duodenum in the digestive system. Food mixes with stomach acid, then moves into the duodenum, where its mixed with bile from the gall bladder and digestive juices from the pancreas.

The malabsorptive component of duodenal switch surgery involves rearranging the small intestine to separate the flow of food from the flow of bile and pancreatic juices. The food and digestive juices interact only in the last 18 to 24 inches of the intestine, allowing for malabsorption.

Duodenal Switch Benefits

  • The remaining stomach is much larger after duodenal switch surgery than following gastric bypass; this allows for larger meals.
  • Reduced risk of developing ulcers
  • The intestinal bypass part of the surgery is partially reversible for those having malabsorptive complications.
  • Greater long-term weight loss and less chance of regaining weight
  • More rapid weight loss, compared with gastric banding procedures
  • More complete resolution of obesity-related illnesses

Duodenal Switch Risks

The short-term risks of duodenal switch are the same as gastric bypass:

  • Bleeding/blood loss
  • Blood clots
  • Infection
  • Leakage (A leak means that a perforation of the stomach or a leak from anywhere the bowel is stitched together has occurred)
  • Death

The long-term risks of duodenal switch include:

  • Vitamin and Nutritional deficiencies due to malabsorption. Lifetime supplements required
  • Carbohydrates can be well absorbed, resulting in inadequate weight loss
  • You may have many loose bowel movements in a day and foul-smelling stools and gas