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Buyer Beware ! There are a lot of look alike and counterfeit “Duodenal Switch” procedure being performed. A recent online chat discussion clearly demonstrates the point that just because a patient is told that they had the duodenal switch operation this is not necessarily the case.
In our practice, we always warn our patients of not comparing notes and their outcome to others. I perform the Duodenal Switch procedure the way it was described by Dr. Hess, making the common and alimentary lengths as a percentage of the total length of small bowel. This is why our patient population has very little nutritional, and gastrointestinal issues compared to others. Unfortunately when a patient is given a disproportionately long Common channel and/or Alimentary channel the patient will have inadequate weight loss. Alternatively, when patients are given a shorter alimentary channel in proportion to the total bowel length, significant nutritional deficiencies can arise. In a shorter alimentary channel situation patients have to consume higher doses of vitamins and nutrients to keep their laboratory values normal.
I have repeatedly raised the issues to clearly distinguish the single anastomosis procedures from Duodenal Switch operation.
One of the unfortunate problems is the lack of clear guidance given to the patients. It is not uncommon, when I do second opinion consultation with patient who were given generic gastric bypass post op protocol and instructions after their duodenal switch operation. This clearly shows lack of fundamental understanding of the practice performing these procedures and it is carried onto the patient.
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Thank you for another well composed and informative blog Dr K. It still boggles my mind that other surgeons don’t grasp or care to follow the Hess Method, because the data absolutely shows it to be the safest and most effective Bariatric procedure available. I hope for a day when Surgeons stop putting patients at risk when patients put so much faith in their surgeon to provide the best possible scientically proven procedure and subsequent follow up and advice for living with the DS.