Risks of the Duodenal Switch

As with all other weight loss surgery procedures, the duodenal switch comes with a degree of potential surgical risk.  Some of those potential risks and considerations include:

General Surgical Risks

Surgical risk is a possibility with any procedure and may be exacerbated by the patient’s poor health due to obesity. As with any other surgical procedure requiring general anesthesia, uncontrolled high blood pressure, smoking, poorly controlled diabetes and other medical conditions may complicate recovery and increase the risk of complications. Other surgical risk may include: hernias, , bleeding, stroke, heart attack, deep vein thrombosis or blood clots in the legs, pulmonary embolus (blood clots to the lungs) and, though rarely, death.

To learn more about the risks of any surgery please speak to your surgeon. Your surgeon will also be able to explain the possible risks unique to your own medical history and circumstances.

Duodenal Switch Risks and Considerations

  • Staple lines created to seal portions of the stomach can leak, requiring emergency surgery.
  • Potential injury to the Bilio-pancreatic tree. This is where the duodenum is divided for the “switch” part of the procedure.
  • Due to the complexity of the duodenal switch procedure, it should only be performed by experienced surgeons with exceptional outcomes.
  • With the exception of the large part of the stomach being removed, the rest of the Duodenal Switch operation is a straightforward surgical procedure to reverse.
  • Increased gas or frequent loose bowel movements could be a problem in patients who do not exercise discretion in their diet.

For a more complete overview of the potential risks of the duodenal switch, it is recommended that patients attend one or more of the free weight loss surgery information seminars in their area. Patient knowledge of this potentially life-changing surgery can make the procedure more effective in the long-term.

Speaking to your surgeon and/or primary care physician will offer additional information on suitability of this surgery.

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