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Duodenal Switch

People with severe obesity need safe, effective weight loss treatment to help reduce the symptoms of other health conditions, such as high blood pressure or diabetes. The experienced Washington University bariatric surgeons at Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital and Barnes-Jewish Hospital offer duodenal switch, the most effective bariatric (weight loss) surgery.

Duodenal Switch for Weight Loss: How It Works

The biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch, or duodenal switch for short, is a permanent surgery that can provide significant weight loss. This procedure not only helps limit the amount of food you can eat, but also significantly reduces the calories your body absorbs.

Our bariatric surgeons can perform a duodenal switch using laparoscopic surgery, a minimally invasive approach. With a few small incisions, laparoscopic surgery enables faster healing with a lower risk of complications than open surgery.

Duodenal switch surgery has two parts. First, your surgeon removes part of the stomach to create a smaller, tube-shaped stomach pouch to restrict the amount of food you can eat.

Next, the surgeon bypasses about three-quarters of the small intestine, which reduces the calories that can be absorbed. During the procedure:

  • The surgeon divides the top part of the small intestine (duodenum), where it leaves the stomach. 
  • Part of the end portion of the small intestine is connected directly to the stomach opening, bypassing the sections of the small intestine where most of the calories are absorbed.
  • The bypassed section of the small intestine is reconnected to the lower small intestine so that digestive enzymes can come back into the food stream.

Because so much of the small intestine is bypassed, the duodenal switch can prevent many of the nutrients in your food from being absorbed. You will need to take nutritional supplements, such as vitamins and minerals, to replace these nutrients.

Duodenal Switch Surgery: Advantages

The duodenal switch offers certain benefits, compared with other types of bariatric surgery, including:

  • The greatest weight loss: Patients who have a duodenal switch typically lose about 80 percent of their excess body weight.
  • The most effective surgery for diabetes: The duodenal switch works better than the other types of bariatric surgery to treat and reverse type 2 diabetes.
  • Improvement of other conditions: Many patients see improvement in some obesity-related health conditions in addition to diabetes, such as depression, high blood pressure and sleep apnea.
  • Lower risk of ulcers: People who have a duodenal switch are less likely to develop ulcers.

Our Options for Weight Loss Treatment

The duodenal switch surgery is part of our comprehensive weight loss program. Find out more about our bariatric surgery program and services, including physical therapy through our on-site Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation Center (STAR), nutrition support for weight loss and health checks.

We offer a full range of surgical and nonsurgical weight loss treatments. Our options include:

Nonsurgical Weight Loss Treatment Options: If you are interested in any of the nonsurgical treatment options for weight loss, you must first determine if you are a candidate and set up a personal consultation. A member of the Washington University gastroenterology team will explain the endoscopic procedures and answer your questions.


For more information or to schedule an appointment with a bariatric endoscopy physician, please call toll-free at 844-542-9378.

Referring physicians can call the BJC Transfer Center at 800.252.DOCS (3627) 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can also visit our referring physicians page.


Washington University Bariatric Surgery
Medical Office Building 4
1044 N. Mason Road, Suite 320
Creve Coeur, MO 63141

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Washington University Bariatric Surgery
Center for Advanced Medicine
4921 Parkview Place, Suite 8C
St. Louis, MO 63110

Get parking information and maps.


Washington University Physicians accepting new patients:

Christopher Eagon, MD

Christopher Eagon, MD



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Find a doctor or make an appointment: 314.542.WEST (9378) OR TOLL-FREE 1.844.542.9378
General Information: (314) 996.8000
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Creve Coeur, Missouri 63141
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