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Recovering from Duodenal Switch Surgery

By Jacqueline Osuna, MD on June 06, 2017

Patient measuring the waistlineExcess weight can lower confidence, limit physical capabilities, and compromise a person’s overall health. Despite the risks associated with excessive weight, many people have a difficult time shedding extra pounds. Weight loss can be especially hard for those who are classified as morbidly obese, or those who have dealt with weight struggles their entire life. If diet and lifestyle changes have failed to produce the weight loss a person is striving for, duodenal switch surgery may be the answer.

During a duodenal switch procedure, the size of the stomach is significantly reduced, and the digestive tract is rerouted. Of all the bariatric surgery techniques, duodenal switch offers some of the fastest and most drastic results. Of course, it is also one of the most intense bariatric procedures, so patients should be prepared for a significant recovery period.

Dr. Jacqueline Osuna discusses duodenal switch recovery with her patients from her Tijuana, MX and Guadalajara, MX practice so that they have a full understanding of the procedure before committing to treatment.

Duodenal Switch Surgery

Before going into recovery from duodenal switch surgery, let’s briefly go over the surgical procedure. Duodenal switch surgery is the most invasive bariatric technique, because it involves reducing the size of the stomach and rerouting the digestive tract. After removing about 80 percent of the stomach to create a small pouch, Dr. Osuna will reattach the duodenum to the lower portion of the small intestines. This allows food to bypass the upper small intestines, where the majority of calories are absorbed.

After surgery, the patient is restricted in how much food they can comfortably eat, as well as how many calories can be absorbed by the body. While this procedure does require significant alteration, Dr. Osuna performs the surgery laparoscopically whenever possible to minimize the risk of surgery and reduce recovery time.

Recovery Timeframe

Even when duodenal switch surgery is performed laparoscopically, patients should be prepared for a lengthy recovery. We typically keep patients in the hospital for two to three days after their procedure before sending them home to recover. While everyone will heal at a slightly different pace, the average patient requires one to three weeks at home before they feel well enough to resume work and other routine activities. Even at this point, patients will need to avoid strenuous activities until the body has completely healed, which generally takes about six weeks.

Side Effects

Side effects are a normal part of duodenal switch recovery. While side effects will be most severe during the first week of recovery, it can take two to three weeks for them to dissipate completely. Common side effects of this procedure include:

  • Fatigue
  • Pain or discomfort
  • Bruising and swelling around the treatment site

Diet during Duodenal Switch Recovery

Diet is another important part of duodenal switch recovery. Dr. Osuna will provide explicit instructions regarding what foods are acceptable to eat, and when solid foods can be reintroduced to the diet. Patients should understand that they will be on a strictly liquid diet for at least a week after surgery, followed by a week or two of pureed food. These diet changes are vital to the success of treatment, so patients must be prepared to stick to these restrictions.

Contact Us

Bariatric surgery can be a lifesaving option for individuals who are extremely overweight and those who are battling health complications related to excess weight. If you’d like to learn more about the bariatric surgery techniques offered by Dr. Jacqueline Osuna, contact us at your earliest convenience.

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My experience with Dr. Osuna and her staff was better than I could have imagined. She was absolutely amazing...The city was beautiful and safe, the hospital was beautiful and clean, the staff were great, I could not have asked for more. Natalie P.

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