Gastric Bypass or Duodenal Switch Surgery: Which is Right for Me?
Weight loss surgery can be the most effective option for patients suffering from severe obesity who have consistently tried other methods of weight loss without success. With the many types of weight loss surgery available, it can sometimes be difficult to determine which may be the best option for your needs. During the initial consultation, one of our experienced bariatric surgeons, Dr. Stephen Boyce or Dr. K. Robert Williams, will perform a comprehensive evaluation and talk with you about your treatment options. In today’s blog, we’ll discuss some of the similarities and differences among two of the most advanced surgical weight loss treatments available at the New Life Center for Bariatric Surgery: gastric bypass and biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch.
Gastric Bypass Surgery
One of the more popular weight loss surgery procedures, gastric bypass surgery is most often performed laparoscopically, which utilizes small incisions to minimize scarring and recovery time. Gastric bypass surgery alters the shape of the stomach by creating a small stomach pouch and re-routing the small intestine. This new stomach pouch will be responsible for food intake, while the larger part of the stomach will no longer be involved in the digestive process. Gastric bypass surgery is known as a “malabsorptive” procedure – it limits the fat and calories the body can absorb, while giving you an earlier feeling of fullness at mealtimes.
Biliopancreatic Diversion with Duodenal Switch
Biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch (often referred to simply as a “duodenal switch” procedure) is, in some ways, very similar to gastric bypass surgery; however, there are some significant differences. Like a gastric bypass procedure, duodenal switch surgery creates a stomach pouch for food intake and alters the small intestine. With that in mind, the stomach pouch is much larger than that of a gastric bypass treatment and allows patients to consume greater quantities of food before feeling full. The duodenal switch operation also provides much higher levels of malabsorption of calories. This procedure is often beneficial for patients who are classified as “severely obese,” with a body mass index (BMI) of 50 or higher.
While gastric bypass and biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch procedures have both proven very effective at helping patients lose significant amounts of weight, the duodenal switch procedure is known for its long-term results and its exceptional ability to resolve comorbidities; however, since it is a bigger, more complex operation than gastric bypass, duodenal switch surgery involves a greater degree of risks and a different range of potential side effects.
Both of these procedures can be exceptional weight loss surgery options for the right patients. To determine the best treatment for your needs, we encourage you to contact us with any questions you may have and to schedule an initial consultation. Our skilled bariatric surgeon will explain all aspects of our available treatments and determine which is the best option for your needs and goals.