Duodenal Switch Versus Gastric Bypass: High Risk For Greater Weight Loss - Surgery.about.com

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Duodenal Switch or Gastric Bypass weight loss surgery? �Which is the best surgical treatment for obesity? �A new study sheds some light on the differences in long term outcomes when patients choose the relatively rare Duodenal Switch versus the more popular Gastric Bypass surgery.

Approximately 1%of Americans and 5% of Europeans had a duodenal switch, which, essentially. bypasses a greater percentage of the intestine, where food is absorbed into the bloodstream. �A recent study examined the outcomes from both procedures and compared them.

The Good:

According to one study, patients who had duodenal switch lost an average of 162 pounds versus the 111 lost by gastric bypass patients.

25% of the patients studied who had gastric bypass still had a BMI greater than 40 (30 is obese) but none of the duodenal switch patients did.

The Bad and The Ugly:

Of the 29 patients who had duodenal switch, 62% experienced issues such as diarrhea, abdominal pain, vomiting and intestinal obstruction, which can be life-threatening.

Both procedures can lead to long term issues with vitamins and minerals, but it is much more common, and more severe in the duodenal switch patients. �In some cases, the malnutrition is so severe that it causes osteoporosis, night blindness and severe protein deficiency. �For many, �close monitoring by a physician is required for the rest of their life, and for the more severe cases, prescription or IV supplementation.

What does this mean for you?

Doctors don't believe the additional 50 pounds of weight loss contribute in a meaningful way to improvements in conditions such as hypertension, sleep apnea and diabetes. �For someone who is desperate to lose weight, an additional 50 pound weight loss is very tempting, however, the long term complications can be miserable. �Imagine going from obese to having chronic diarrhea? Or from obese to thin and unable to see at night because you can't absorb enough Vitamin A to prevent night blindness?

According to one doctor, this procedure should no longer be offered to patients, but others say for the super obese (BMI of 50 or more) this procedure still offers the best chances for dramatic weight loss.

Weight Loss Surgery 101

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11 Sep, 2011

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