Duodenal Switch Surgery

Duodenal switch surgery is a very effective weight loss procedure. This article will explain what the procedure involves, what conditions it can help treat, and the risks involved.

The Detroit Weight Loss Center is fully equipped to help you with your weight loss goals. Feel free to book an appointment with Dr. Movitz today to see how he can help you. You can find him in Southfield, MI.

What is Duodenal Switch Surgery?

Duodenal switch surgery is the most powerful of all the bariatric procedures. The duodenal switch procedure involves two steps.

Your surgeon will begin by performing a sleeve gastrectomy. In this step, the surgeon will remove around 80% of your stomach, leaving a tube-shaped piece about the size of a banana. Then, the first portion of the small intestine is detached from the rest of the small intestine. This will include the valve that releases food to the small intestine (the pyloric valve).

The surgeon will then connect the latter part of the small intestine to the stomach, bypassing the majority of the small intestine. Food will then enter the stomach pouch and pass through to the latter part of the small intestine.

A duodenal switch bariatric surgery encourages weight loss in two ways. First, it limits the amount of food you can eat by reducing your stomach size. Second, the intestinal bypass reduces nutrient absorption, including fats and proteins.

The two steps of the duodenal switch procedure are usually done at the same time. However, in some cases, your surgeon may recommend performing the sleeve gastrectomy first and then the intestinal bypass once weight loss has begun.

Reasons for Duodenal Switch Surgery

Duodenal switch surgery is performed to help you lose excess weight. It can also help treat the following weight-related conditions:

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • High cholesterol
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Stroke
  • Severe sleep apnea
  • Infertility

Who is a Candidate for Duodenal Switch Surgery?

Duodenal switch surgery is usually recommended for those with a Body Mass Index (BMI) over 50. 

You must also be committed to making lifestyle changes before and after surgery. These include adjusting your eating habits and attending follow-up appointments with regular bloodwork to monitor your nutrition and medical conditions.

How Effective is Duodenal Switch Surgery?

Duodenal switch surgery is the most effective of all the bariatric procedures. You can expect to lose between 70 and 80 percent of your excess weight within two years. However, your weight loss will depend on the lifestyle changes you make.

Duodenal switch surgery may also help improve or resolve the following related health conditions:

  • Heart disease
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease
  • Obstructive sleep apnea

The Benefits of Duodenal Switch Surgery

There are several benefits of having duodenal switch surgery. These benefits include:

  • It is the bariatric surgery that achieves the greatest overall weight loss.
  • Improvements in your hunger, fullness and metabolism.
  • Most effective surgical treatment weight-related metabolic conditions such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, fatty liver, and more.
  • Increased life expectancy.

Potential Complications of Duodenal Switch Surgery

As with all major surgical procedures, duodenal switch surgery carries some potential health risks.

Risks associated with duodenal switch surgery include:

  • Adverse reaction to anesthesia
  • Infection
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Blood clots
  • Leaks in the gastrointestinal system
  • Breathing problems
  • Dumping syndrome, causing frequent bowel movements, diarrhea, vomiting, or nausea
  • Gallstones
  • Bowel obstruction
  • Hernias
  • Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
  • Stomach perforation
  • Malnutrition
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Ulcers


Initially, you will be restricted to a liquid diet until your intestines begin to heal. Gradually, you will move from pureed foods to soft foods and, finally, solid foods.

You will likely continue with some dietary conditions according to the new size of your stomach. To prevent nutritional deficiencies, you will need to take vitamin and protein supplementation. Your health will be closely monitored after weight loss surgery.

Rapid weight loss will occur within 6 to 12 months. This may cause the following side effects:

  • Feeling tired
  • Body aches
  • Feeling cold
  • Hair thinning and hair loss
  • Dry skin
  • Changes in your mood

At the Detroit Weight Loss Center, Dr. Blake Movitz offers ongoing coaching to help you with your lifestyle changes and to keep the excess weight off.

Schedule a Weight Loss Consultation Today

Contact the Detroit Weight Loss Center in Southfield, Michigan, to see how bariatric surgery can help you. Dr. Movitz offers several treatments, including duodenal switch and gastric bypass surgery. Book your appointment today!


Medically reviewed by Dr. Blake Movitz, MD,  FACS

Dr. Blake Movitz

Dr. Blake Movitz

Fellowship trained from the Mayo Clinic in Minimally Invasive Advanced GI Surgery, Complex Endoscopy and Bariatric Surgery.