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Controversies of Duodenal Switch -Staged or Single Stage

Posted On : September 27, 2014

There is almost no science supporting the two staged duodenal switch. The “theory” advocated was that one can try a less invasive procedure and then if it does not work, proceed with the more complex operation. This was also advocated as a risk reduction tool for patient to have the sleeve component done as a planned first stage to reduce the operative and the anesthesia risk of the full duodenal switch operation. The “DS” surgeons soon recognized that the weight loss after sleeve is limited and not long lasting.

Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy has received a great deal of attention in the last few years. Most of this attention is contributed to the almost universal failure and high complication rate of the adjustable gastric banding (AGB) procedures. Since some practices and surgeons promised a low risk, minimally invasive procedure with the AGB procedures, they had to find an alternative as the complications and the failure of the AGB procedures mounted. This is when the Sleeve Gastrectomy started gaining more acceptance by surgeons who previously had performed AGB.  Sleeve Gastrectomy is becoming one of the most commonly performed weight loss surgical procedure in several areas in the country and world.

It is worth mentioning, that Sleeve Gastrectomy is nothing new to the surgeons who perform Duodenal Switch procedures.  Duodenal Switch has been performed as a single stage procedure since it’s inception.In fact every classical Duodenal Switch procedure is a Sleeve Gastrectomy with two small bowel anastomosis, first described by Dr. Hess in 1988. Duodenal Switch surgeons were also first to offer Sleeve Gastrectomy as the first stage of a two staged procedure.

BiliopancreaticDiversion-Duodenal Swtich: Independent Contributions of Sleeve Resection andDuodenal Exclusion, Marceu P, Biron S, Marceau S, et al. Conclusion: SG and DS independently contribute to beneficial metabolic outcomes after BPD-DS. Long-term weight loss and correction of metabolic abnormalities were better after DS favoring its use as first stage in BPD-DS; one-stage BPD-DS outcomes were superior to two-staged.

Other than some extreme cases, there is no indication to offer the sleeve as a staging operation since in vast majority of the cases the patient will require to have an alternative procedure done when the weight loss stops, and in some cases weight gain is experienced.

The reasons one should avoid a staged procedure is the evidence in the research data does not support that staging a procedure benefits the patient. There is also consideration for two general anesthesia exposures. Anesthesia time is based on surgical experience, technique and past patient surgical history. The argument that a patient should have the Sleeve Gastrectomy, to improve the risk for Duodenal Switch has almost no support in the peer-reviewed literature. One should also consider that a patient having had a Sleeve Gastrectomy may not qualify for the second stage Duodenal Switch procedure due to lower BMI or the insurance benefits mandating only one weight loss procedure in a lifetime.

There may be patients who may benefit from the Sleeve Gastrectomy long term, but in my opinion to offer Sleeve Gastrectomy as a planned first phase of the the duodenal switch is not indicated in majority of the cases.

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