The Duodenal Switch has been getting a lot of press and internet activity. It is being hailed and the next best weight loss surgery. The best explanation of Duodenal Switch is on my Dallas weight loss surgery website. The simplest explanation is that it combines a Gastric Sleeve with a long Bypass. The medical thought process is that it will use the appetite suppression of the Sleeve and the powerful hormone / chemical changes of the Bypass.
The Switch requires very strict following of nutrition (high protein, low carb), vitamins (multi- vitamins, B vitamins and minerals). The long bypass part of the switch changes how the body absorbs the important stuff. All Switch patients will be taking a good multivitamin twice a day, a B complex vitamin once a day (one that has not only B-12 but all the other B’s, too), Calcium AND Vitamin D, and Magnesium. Hey Dr. Dirk! That sounds great! Sign me up for 2!
Not so fast! Like all obesity operations, they are all different and one size definitely does not fit all.
There are obesity surgeons that believe the duodenal switch is for everyone (not Dr Dirk). There are a great number of surgeons who feel the duodenal switch procedure is too complicated and therefore too risky (again, not Dr Dirk).If you have been reading my blog, you know that I treat each patient individually. I take each individual patients medical health in to consideration. It was once believed that the Switch was only good for patients whose BMI was 60 or more.
With ongoing research, the Switch is also a great operation for patients who have had a prior obesity operation that is not working for them, meaning not only weight regain but return of diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, sleep apnea. Remember, obesity operations are designed to improve health AND get rid of or improve medical conditions, by helping you lose weight. Not making you lose weight.
The good thing about the Switch is what I just said.
The bad thing about the Switch – it is a bigger operation. It requires more technical skill on the part of the surgeon, particularly if it a re-do / revision (changing one operation to another) surgery. It there is a complication (something goes wrong) the recuperation after correcting that problem is going to be pretty long.
The most important thing about the Switch- the Switch does not play. You must practice good nutrition and you must take all of your vitamins and supplements for the rest of your life! Any patient that stops practicing good nutrition and does not take or quits taking their vitamins, mineral and supplements, the Switch is the quickest road to malnutrition, anemia, irreversible vitamin deficiencies, hair loss, nerve problems (neuropathy) and bone loss (calcium deficiencies / osteoporosis / bone fractures).
The Switch can have an unpleasant side effect. Switch patients can experience frequent loose, smelly (read toxic-kill small animals in flight-peel wallpaper off the walls – uncontrollable tearing of the eyes – mass exodus) you get the picture. Simple solutions to this effect is time, good nutrition, Beeno® and chlorophyll supplements ( found in health food stores or section of your grocery store).
Do I have your attention?!
Uh, Dr. Dirk, forget signing me up. I’ll get back to you later. Hey! Not so fast. The Switch is a great operation. My professional opinion is this surgery is fantastic for patients who are mega morbidly obese (BMI>60). It is also a good option for patients with a previous obesity surgery that is no longer helping them be healthy AND regaining weight.
Since the Switch is a technically demanding operation, patients with previous pelvic or lower belly surgery (open hysterectomy, colon or rectal surgery, small bowel surgery). Patient with severe asthma or any medical condition that requires steroids (Prednisone) might not be able to have the Switch. If you feel the Switch can help you, contact a bariatric surgeon. Speak with 2 or 3 Dallas bariatric surgeons.
The Duodenal Switch is a great operation that will provide a lifetime of good health.