The Duodenal Switch (DS) procedure combines two surgical techniques: restrictive and malabsorptive. The surgery includes a partial gastrectomy (stomach removal), which reduces the stomach’s capacity while maintaining its normal functionality.
Unlike procedures that create a gastric "pouch" and bypass the pyloric valve, the Duodenal Switch keeps the pyloric valve intact, thereby eliminating the possibility of some of the complications that may follow other gastric bypass procedures.
In addition, the DS procedure keeps a portion of the duodenum in the food stream, which enables normal digestion in the stomach before food reaches the small intestine. As a result, the Duodenal Switch allows for better absorption of many nutrients, compared to other weight loss surgeries.
The malabsorptive component of the Duodenal Switch rearranges the small intestine to separate the flow of food from the flow of bile and pancreatic juices. This inhibits the absorption of calories and some nutrients. Further down the digestive tract, these divided intestinal paths are rejoined. This process restricts the amount of calories and nutrients the body absorbs.
The Duodenal Switch allows for less food consumption than normal, but still more than with other weight loss surgeries. The procedure can be performed both as open and as laparoscopic surgery.
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