What You Need To Know About Duodenal Switch Surgery

It's been a widely accepted and tragic fact of life that there's no cure for type two diabetes. However, with a surgery that's gaining traction in the United States and boasting a 98% "cure" rate, that widely accepted fact might soon be a relic of the past. If you have type two diabetes, whether your BMI is high or low, duodenal switch surgery is a procedure you may want to learn more about -- so here's what you need to know.

What exactly is duodenal switch surgery?

Duodenal switch surgery, like a gastric bypass or gastric banding, is a surgery meant to reduce the size of the stomach, and thus cause you to lose weight quickly and permanently. There's two steps to this procedure, one that's not reversible and one that is. The first is the surgery to the stomach, cutting up to 70% of it out. However, where duodenal switch surgery departs from other weight loss surgeries is in its second, reversible step, which is to reroute the small intestine from one pathway to two pathways, which meet at a common channel.

What does the rerouting do?

This rerouting makes it so the two loops (the digestive and the biliopancreatic) carry their respective materials (food and bile, respectively) to the common channel in the small intestine, where the food and bile mix quickly before dumping the mixture into the large intestine. 

Why is that important?

The less time the body has to capture calories from the food in your body (which it does by breaking the food down with bile), the smaller amount of calories it can actually absorb -- especially when it comes to fat. Duodenal surgery can limit the calories from fat you absorb up to 80%.

So what does this have to do with curing diabetes?

The really fascinating this about duodenal surgery is that, when performed on those with type two diabetes, studies have shown a 98% "cure" rate -- meaning that 98% of those studied became euglycemic -- able to produce the normal amount of glucose in their blood.

So even though those who undergo this surgery have to take vitamins for the rest of their life -- mostly vitamins A, D, E, and K -- their diabetes has an overwhelming chance of being gone forever. If you suffer from type two diabetes, this surgery could make your life -- and your health -- immeasurably better.