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Can Duodenal Switch Surgery Cure My Type 2 Diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is a serious medical condition that occurs when your blood sugar is too high. It affects more than 27 million Americans. An additional 84 million Americans have prediabetes, a condition in which blood sugar is elevated, but not yet high enough to be considered Type 2 diabetes.

Unfortunately, Type 2 diabetes can lead to potentially dangerous complications, such as kidney disease, vision problems, nerve damage, and an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, and limb amputation. In fact, Type 2 diabetes is one of the top 10 causes of death in the United States.

If you have Type 2 diabetes, you probably wish there was a magic cure to this frightening disease. 

Perhaps you’ve heard about duodenal switch surgery, which is sometimes described as a cure for Type 2 diabetes. You’re probably wondering if that claim is true. Is duodenal switch surgery really a Type 2 diabetes cure? For many people, the answer is yes.

Here at Northwest EndoSurgical in Houston, Texas, Dr. Matthew St. Laurent, a board-certified surgeon and weight-loss expert, is dedicated to helping his patients reduce their risk of obesity-related disease and disability. He’d like to explain what duodenal switch surgery can do for people with Type 2 diabetes.

What is duodenal switch surgery?

The duodenal switch procedure, also known as biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch (BPD/DS), is done after another type of weight-loss surgery known as gastric sleeve surgery.

In gastric sleeve surgery, Dr. St. Laurent removes a section of stomach tissue, which reduces the stomach to less than half its normal size. The remaining stomach tissue looks like a thin, vertical sleeve.

After having gastric sleeve surgery, you may opt to have duodenal switch surgery. This procedure rearranges your small intestine to bypass its first two portions, the duodenum and the jejunum. This results in a significant reduction in the amount of nutrients, especially dietary fats, that your body can absorb.

Duodenal switch surgery and diabetes

Duodenal switch surgery can improve or cure Type 2 diabetes because in addition to reducing the nutrients your body can absorb from foods, it actually changes the way your body metabolizes food and uses blood sugar. It also impacts the production of hormones that influence hunger and satiety.

According to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, duodenal switch surgery causes Type 2 diabetes to go into remission in more than 85% of people, and remission can last for years.

In fact, compared with other types of weight-loss surgery, duodenal switch surgery is the most effective surgery for improving Type 2 diabetes or putting it into remission.

After having duodenal switch surgery, people with Type 2 diabetes who lose weight and keep it off are likely to have lower blood sugar, less need for diabetes medicines, and a lower risk of related complications related to Type 2 diabetes.

Get help for your Type 2 diabetes

If you’re dreaming of a cure for your Type 2 diabetes, Dr. St. Laurent can help you decide whether duodenal switch surgery is right for you. To schedule a consultation with him, call our office or book an appointment online today.

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