The Potential Side Effects of Duodenal Switch Surgery

The effects of obesity can extend beyond physical health, impacting confidence and causing some to feel unhappy or depressed. For those who feel defeated from not seeing weight loss results after dieting and exercising, duodenal switch surgery may be the right option. Here we look at some side effects.

Ralf lost 153 lbs after his surgery
Ralph: A Real TBC Patient

Duodenal switch surgery can be highly effective in helping people reach their weight loss goals, but requires patients to commit to lifestyle and dietary changes. Dietary changes are essential to ensuring patients get the nutrition they need while losing weight and improving overall health. When considering duodenal switch surgery, it is important that patients understand the potential side effects associated with this weight loss treatment. The following are some potential side effects that may occur after duodenal switch surgery.

Malnutrition May Occur but Can Be Avoided

Because duodenal switch surgery includes the shortening of the small intestine, the body will have less time to absorb nutrients. As a result, some patients may experience malnutrition. Prolonged malnutrition, specifically deficiencies in calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin A, can increase the risk of issues like osteoporosis and anemia. Malnutrition is preventable by regularly taking vitamins and mineral supplements, and committing to a healthy diet.

Gallstones Are a Risk of Rapid Weight Loss

Gallstones are deposits of digestive fluid that harden within the gallbladder. Gallstones may develop after duodenal switch surgery as a result of losing weight at a rapid rate. When weight is lost, the liver makes extra cholesterol, which may lead to the formation of gallstones.

Avoiding Diarrhea and Frequent Bowel Movements

Some people may experience diarrhea or more frequent bowel movements after duodenal switch surgery. In most cases, eating a diet high in carbs or other unhealthy foods is the primary cause of gastrointestinal issues. Taking a fiber supplement and sticking to a healthy diet can help reduce the risk of diarrhea and help bowel movements reduce to a more normal rate.

Rare Potential Side Effects

In rare cases, the stomach may leak where it has been reshaped and stapled. Some symptoms of a leaking stomach include severe abdominal pain, left shoulder pain, fever, or a heart arrhythmia called tachycardia.

As with any surgery, there is some risk of infection or bleeding. In extremely rare cases, excessive bleeding may occur during surgery or post-operatively and may require a blood transfusion. Infection may develop after surgery but the risk can be reduced by following all post-operative care instructions.

Schedule a Consultation

At Tijuana Bariatric Center, our surgeons offer duodenal switch surgery to help patients achieve their weight loss goals for a healthier, happier life. Dr. Fernando Garcia explains the possible duodenal switch surgery side effects during patient consultations at their office in Tijuana, Mexico. Schedule your personal consultation to discuss the potential side effects of duodenal switch surgery.

For more information about the possible side effects of duodenal switch surgery, or to find out if this surgery is right for you, we welcome you to schedule a consultation at Tijuana Bariatric Center today.

Back to Blog
Contact us media
Accessibility: If you are vision-impaired or have some other impairment covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act or a similar law, and you wish to discuss potential accommodations related to using this website, please contact our Accessibility Manager at 888-508-1384.
Contact Us


All-Inclusive Gastric Bypass Surgery Starting at:

$5,780 USD

Regular Price:  $6,580 USD

*surgeries must be booked from June-August 2024