Another type of weight loss surgery is the Duodenal Switch. This is the most complex and most
involved weight loss surgeries and is more invasive than the others. Other names for this surgery include vertical
gastrectomy with duodenal switch, biliopancreatic diversion and BPD-DS.
This surgery is more complicated because it combines two weight loss surgeries in one — it is considered a
restrictive surgery as well as a malabsorptive. During this surgery, the doctor will first reduce the size of the
stomach. It divides the stomach vertically and about 85 percent of the stomach is removed. It will end up looking a
little bit like a tube and it about six ounces. Subsequently, the biliopancreatic diversion procedure is
The basic idea behind this surgery is that the switch keeps a small portion of the duodenum in the digestive
system, therefore it will regulate the stomach. It is estimated about 20,000 of such surgeries are performed each
year in the United States.
Not everyone is the right candidate for the duodenal switch surgery...
It is generally reserved for the morbidly obese — those with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 55 or higher and who
suffer from other weight related illnesses or diabetes. It is not, however, a good choice for those that will have
a difficult time recovering from a high risk surgery.
The recovery time for this surgery takes longer and it is a life time commitment. It cannot be reversed. There
are several side effects and complications can arise after surgery and if post-surgical directions are not followed
The cost for this surgery will be anywhere from $20,000 to $30,000. Insurance often covers the expenses related
to duodenal switch surgery, except for cost that have to do with cosmetic surgery and other post-operative
counseling and consultations.