Gastric bypass and duodenal switch are two of the most common weight loss surgeries for treatment of severe obesity. A new study published in JAMA Surgery found that duodenal switch, the less common fat loss procedure, was shown to help individuals lose more weight and improve glycemic control (Risstad H, et al. 2015).
Traditional diet and exercise have always been my choice of natural weight loss methods but I do understand the need for surgical procedures for severely obese individuals. The clinical trial included individuals with a BMI between 50 and 60, aged 20 to 50 years, and had prior fat loss attempts that did not enable sustained weight loss (Risstad H, et al. 2015).
Of the 60 included individuals, 31 underwent gastric bypass surgery and 29 underwent a duodenal switch. Fifty-five participants (92%) returned to the 5-year visit after an average follow-up of 61 months. The total body weight loss was 26.4% after gastric bypass and 40.3% after duodenal switch which is quite shocking to me. Also, cholesterol, triglyceride concentrations and blood pressure levels were significantly decreased after duodenal switch.
The only downfalls to duodenal switch are the more adverse events as compared to gastric bypass. Surgery to correct malnutrition or severe diarrhea was required in 10% of patients after duodenal switch so readmission rates were much higher.
The bottom line is that duodenal switch results in greater weight loss and good improvements in blood sugar and cholesterol levels over a 5-year period in patients with a BMI between 50 and 60. However, duodenal switch was linked to more long-term nutritional and surgical complications compared to gastric bypass surgery for weight loss.
Senior Criminal Justice Major at Florida A&M University
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Source: Risstad H, Sovik TT, Engstrom M, et al. “Five-Year Outcomes after Laparoscopic Gastric Bypass and Laparoscopic Duodenal Switch in Patients with Body Mass Index of 50 to 60: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Surg. 4 February 2015