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Duodenal Switch

What is it?

Also known as Biliopancreatic Diversion, Duodenal Switch is a permanent weight loss surgery in which the stomach is surgically reduced by 80%. About two-thirds of the lower portion of the small intestine is bypassed when the first portion of the small intestine (the duodenum) is directly attached to the the large intestine, bypassing the small intestine altogether. The gallbladder is also removed during the process.

How does it work?

The Duodenal Switch works in two ways. First, the smaller stomach causes individuals to feel full quicker and thus eat less. Then, by bypassing a good portion of the small intestines, less calories are absorbed thus further aiding in weight loss.

Who is it for?

Those who have a BMI of 40 or greater, and are comfortable with a permanent alteration in their digestive anatomy, are ideal candidates for the Duodenal Switch surgery.  Those with BMIs from 35 to 40 may also be considered as candidates if there are serious obesity-related health problems (“comorbidities”) such as diabetes or high blood pressure present.

Average Weight Loss

Individuals lose on average 45% of their excess weight within the first 6 months. Many will lose up to about 70% in 12-18 months.

Average Cost

The Duodenal Switch surgery is usually around $20,000, but that may not include facility/hospital and other specialist fees, such as the anesthesiologist. However, insurances often cover Duodenal Switch surgeries to some degree when obesity related medical conditions are present.