Expected Duodenal Switch Weight Loss Timeline: How Much Weight Will I Lose?

Bariatric surgery can have life-changing results for those who fully commit to the process of taking control of their health. After any bariatric procedure, patients are expected to follow a new diet that consists of healthy foods in smaller quantities. When  carefully followed, this new, healthier lifestyle coupled with the right bariatric procedure can result in tremendous weight loss success and lead patients to a healthier, happier, more energetic lifestyle.

Loop duodenal switch surgery is one bariatric procedure that can help patients lose a substantial amount of their unhealthy body weight. If you suffer from obesity and are considering duodenal switch surgery, or you’ve already decided to have the procedure and you want more information about the post-op weight loss process, here is more information on the duodenal switch weight loss timeline and what patients can expect after their operation.

What Is Duodenal Switch Surgery?

Let’s start at the beginning for those who are trying to understand exactly what duodenal switch surgery is and what they can expect. This bariatric procedure involves restrictive and malabsorptive elements. In the restrictive part of the surgery, about 85% of the stomach is removed from the body to form a smaller sleeve-shaped stomach that restricts the amount of food a patient can eat. 

The malabsorptive part involves the small intestine. The portion of the small intestine just after the stomach, referred to as the duodenum, is separated and a carefully identified loop of small intestine below this is brought up and attached to the portion of divided duodenum just after the stomach. This allows for food to bypass a large portion of the small intestine in order to absorb fewer calories, thus strengthening your potential for rapid weight loss.

The loop duodenal switch procedure is a minimally invasive procedure with smaller cuts rather than one large incision. Minimally invasive surgeries also generally mean less need for recovery and less downtime for patients after they have their procedure.

Because of the malabsorptive element of duodenal switch surgery, patients have to be committed to a life-long vitamin and protein supplement program in order to ensure they get the proper amount of healthy nutrients. The overall amount of weight loss experienced by the patient is related to how much weight the patient has to lose, some genetic factors, and most importantly how carefully the patient follows all recommended dietary protocols for life following surgery. While the surgery certainly and powerfully sets the stage for weight loss and also makes it feel very natural to do the right things to lose weight, it does not make decisions for us. Here are some specific timeline results patients can expect when fully committed to their new lifestyle.

Duodenal Switch Expected Weight Loss Timeline: How Much Weight Will I Lose After 3 Months?

During the first 3 months after the loop duodenal switch surgery, patients can see dramatic weight loss and this period of time is known for its rapid, impressive results. Patients can lose an average of 0.5 to 1 pound per day, meaning there is the potential to lose between 40-90 pounds by the end of the first three months post-op.

It’s important to keep in mind that weight loss will be dramatic during this period of time and will slow down in the following months. Your best chance at maximum weight loss success is to trust the process and consistently commit yourself to your new diet and exercise plan. It’s also important to remember that your weight will fluctuate daily and your overall weight loss won’t be constant and regular. Don’t be surprised or discouraged by short plateaus or small weight losses or gains from day to day. It is much more important to follow the weight loss trend over weeks rather than days.

Duodenal Switch Expected Weight Loss Timeline: How Much Weight Will I Lose After 12 Months?

There is a gradual slow down of weight loss between 6-9 months after duodenal switch surgery with peak weight loss occurring at 12-18 months post-op. Overall, patients who undergo loop duodenal switch surgery have the potential to lose 75-95% of their unhealthy body weight. For many patients, this could mean a total weight loss of 150 pounds or in some cases more. 

Although peak weight loss occurs anywhere from a year to two years after surgery, it’s important to remember that you’ve committed to a life-long process. Just because patients have reached their goal weight, or even passed it, does not mean they can return to their old lifestyle habits. It’s important to stick to a nutrient dense diet as well as keep up with a vitamin regimen to avoid any unwanted weight regain.

Can You Gain Weight After Duodenal Switch Surgery?

Weight regain is a possibility for all bariatric procedures, however, duodenal switch patients have shown the least likelihood of regaining unhealthy body weight. Studies have shown that duodenal switch patients have lost a substantial amount of excess body weight and kept it off even five years after surgery.

Again, the best way to maximize your weight loss potential after your procedure is to fully commit and stick to your new lifestyle. This is also important because of the malabsorptive piece of duodenal switch surgery. Duodenal switch patients’ new diet will not only result in weight loss, but will also ensure they are getting the proper daily nutrients.

Is Duodenal Switch Surgery Right For Me?

A completely different weight and life can be a reality for you, and if these are the results you’re looking for, it may be time to consider loop duodenal switch surgery. However, as successful as this procedure can be, it may not be the best option for some patients. Loop duodenal switch surgery is best for those who:

  • Are interested in losing 75-95% of excess weight or have a BMI > 50
  • Suffer from type II diabetes and want the best chance at a cure. Duodenal switch is 98% effective at curing type II diabetes.
  • Can fully commit to a lifelong, strict regimen of vitamin and protein supplementation

However for those who suffer from any of the following, we encourage them to look into other bariatric procedures like gastric sleeve or gastric bypass surgery:

  • Severe baseline vitamin and mineral deficiencies such as anemia in spite of treatment
  • Crohn’s disease, or any medical issues requiring anti-inflammatory medication
  • Multiple abdominal surgeries in their past
  • Irritable bowel syndrome with frequent diarrhea
  • Severe acid reflux

Lose Weight and Keep it Off

It’s time to take control of your health and start living a more energetic and active lifestyle. Duodenal switch patients can lose 150 pounds or more of their excess body fat. Imagine how good you would feel! If you still have questions about bariatric surgery, duodenal switch expected weight loss, or whether duodenal switch is a good surgery option for you, feel free to contact our friendly office staff at the BMCC. We are happy to answer any of your questions.

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This page was medically reviewed by Dr. Joshua Long, MD, MBA, FACS, FASMBS. Dr. Long is a double-board-certified bariatric surgeon and bariatric medical director for Parker Adventist Hospital.
Full Bio: Dr. Joshua Long, MD, MBA, FACS, FASMBS
Page Updated: November 18th, 2022

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