The duodenal switch procedure removes part of the stomach. The valve responsible for releasing food to the small intestine remains. Your small intestine is then divided into two sections. One section is connected to the stomach valve to accept the flow of food for digestion. The other section of intestine is then connected to the duodenum to filter bile and digestive juices. With these changes, food bypasses most of the newly reworked small intestine. This change in the structure of the small intestine limits the possibility of absorbing additional calories. These changes, combined with a smaller stomach, lead to healthy weight loss.
The part of the stomach that’s removed is mainly acid-producing tissue. Removing it, instead of stapling it as in other procedures, gets rid of the acids the section creates and eliminates the possibility of painful ulcers. Essentially, the stomach is a smaller version of what it used to be without sacrificing functionality. Eventually, typically after around 18 months, the stomach expands slightly to hold normal-sized portions of food again. However, it never returns to its original size.
The concern for many patients is having part of their stomach removed during the duodenal switch. Thinking about the surgery may cause some hesitation, but it really shouldn’t be a deal breaker if the procedure can help you lose weight.
It’s important to maintain an adequate level of protein post-surgery to ensure the best recovery and weight loss. The most common choices when it comes to protein are fish, poultry, lean meats, eggs, and cheeses. While vegetables and fruits should still be part of your diet, it’s crucial that you eat protein first.
Since the duodenal switch procedure makes your stomach smaller, it won’t be able to hold the volume of food it once did. For this reason, eating more protein speeds up the healing process. For example, hair loss is a common side effect of the procedure that can be prevented by increasing the amount of protein you eat.