Duodenal Switch Surgery Better Against Type 2 Diabetes Than Gastric Bypass

University of Chicago researchers say that a duodenal switch is more effective at controlling obesity-related conditions like diabetes.

Jun 10, 2009

Over the years, gastric bypass surgery has proven an effective means of controlling-and even reversing-type 2 diabetes in
"super-obese" patients (those with a body mass index of 50 or above; usually more than 200 pounds above ideal body weight).

But now University of Chicago researchers have concluded that another type of surgery, called a duodenal switch, is even more effective at controlling such obesity-related conditions as diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure.

In gastric bypass surgery, surgeons create a small pouch that is separated from the rest of the stomach. Food bypasses the stomach, instead going through the pouch. The smaller size and capacity of the pouch lessens appetite and reduces the amount of food that the body can digest at any one time.

In contrast, duodenal switch surgery modifies the stomach itself, reshaping it into a long, narrow tube. At the same time, the small intestine is changed to reduce the amount of calories it can absorb.

Following either surgery, many obese patients are able to cease taking the medications used to treat their conditions. After tracking the results of the two types of surgery on 350 super-obese patients, however, the researchers noted that the duodenal switch had decisively better postoperative outcomes than the gastric bypass.

  • One hundred percent of duodenal switch patients completely stopped taking their diabetes medications, versus 60 percent of gastric bypass patients.
  • Sixty-eight percent of duodenal switch patients completely stopped taking their hypertension medications, versus 38.6 percent of gastric bypass patient
  • Seventy-two percent of duodenal switch patients completely stopped taking their medications for high cholesterol, versus 26 percent of gastric bypass patients

However, one area in which the gastric bypass outperformed the duodenal switch was in the resolution of acid reflux disease. Almost 77 percent of gastric bypass patients enjoyed a cessation of the disease, versus 48.5 percent of patients undergoing duodenal switch.

One drawback to the duodenal switch is potential vitamin deficiencies or even malnutrition brought on by the modification of the small intestine's ability to absorb nutrients. Because obese people often already have pre-operative nutritional deficiencies, the University of Chicago researchers say that duodenal switch patients may routinely require vitamin supplementation. 

Results of the study were presented recently at Digestive Disease Week® 2009 in Chicago.

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Posted by Anonymous on 10 June 2009

I am a 52 yr old male who had the Duodenal Switch September 26 two years ago by Smith in Marietta, Ga.at 306#. I am currently at 176# with Sleep Apenea completely resolved, BP med down to 1/2 of 1 instead of 5, acid reflux significantly inproved, joint pain down over 60%, released by Heart Doctor. I would not do this again until Monday.

Posted by Anonymous on 21 June 2009

I am 58 years old and had a DS 3 years ago and my diabetes was resolved immediatly and my BP was down to 130/75 from 170/110. The DS was the best thing l have done. JG South WalesUK

Posted by Anonymous on 17 August 2009

I am more than interested in the DS procedure.

Anybody know of a comprehensive list of providers? I am interested in California.

I did a lot of googling, but it looks like I will have to travel.

Anybody have positive things to say about USC in Los Angeles, CA? Any particular doctor to stay away? or go to?


Posted by Anonymous on 4 September 2011

Good article but you should have included the non super obese too. The DS helps them too and should not be ignored. If you have diabetes a DS is what you want.

Posted by Anonymous on 14 December 2011

I agree! I am 49,, been diabetic 10 years and at the max dosses of my meds! and because I am not over weight I cant find anyone that will do the surgery! That sucks! I can get it outside the US, if I had $15,000. cash!!! That also sucks! LoL 

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