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Duodenal Switch and Fat in The Diet

Posted On : May 21, 2015

When I perform the duodenal switch operation,  the common channel is a percentage of the total small bowel length and  I also account for the  patient’s metabolic rate. Two individuals with a BMI of 50, should not have the same common channel. If  we compare two patients, one of them is a 20 years old male who is 6’2″ and the second patient is a 60 year old female who is 5’4″, we can see how this applies. These two patients have very different metabolic needs and requirements. When the Duodenal Switch is performed in this fashion, the common channel based on a percentage of total small bowel length and metabolic needs, the patients post op diet works best when it is a well balanced, protein based diet. The basic principals are : Hydration (water), Protein and Everything else, low carb,  avoid artificial sweeteners, avoid carbonated drinks,  have frequent smaller meals and avoid processed food.  Listen to you body as to what it tolerates and what it doesn’t. This is what I recommend for my patients.

I am not aware of any scientific evidence that proves any benefit to excessive amounts of fat for DS patients who have had their length of the common and alimentary bowels based as a percentage of the total length.

My recommendation are to have a well balanced high protein diet. I do not recommend a  low fat diet, except in the healing phase after surgery.  However,  there is no reason to consume excessive amounts of fat long term.

High fat diet is used to facilitate bowel movements for some patients who have constipation. It may be prudent to try and identify what may be causing the constipation and correct or eliminate them before one resorts to a very high fat diet as a “treatment” for constipation after Duodenal Switch. The possible causes for constipation after duodenal switch may be metabolic-organic (where some patients have infrequent bowel movements before DS, hypothyroidism), length of the common and the Alimentary channels and medications (pain meds, narcotics, antidepressants).

In addition, Medium Chain Fatty Acids do not require bile salts to be absorbed and are directly absorbed into the Portal Vein in the liver. Medium Chain Fatty Acids are not malabsorbed post Duodenal Switch. Medium Chain Fatty Acids included Caproic acid, Caprylic acid, Capric acid, and Lauric acid. Commonly found in varying amounts within coconut oil and palm oil. MCT supplement is made with Medium Chain Fatty Acids.

In summary,  I recommend that Duodenal Switch patients who have had surgery with our practice have a high protein balanced diet. I do not recommend avoiding fat, or going on a low fat diet.  I am not sure if there a reason to consume excessive amount of fat, which may in fact have unexpected metabolic and nutrient consequences.

Every patient, as their weight stabilizes, will find what works and what does not work for them. Some patients will tolerate a higher fat intake and other will not be able to tolerate higher fat intake.

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