Duodenal switch

Duke weight loss surgeons often use robotic tools to perform a duodenal switch, which alters the digestion process and limits food absorption. According to a 2012 study published in the Archives of Surgery, patients who undergo duodenal switch lost 79 percent of their excess weight two years after surgery. The same study also shows people who undergo duodenal switch experience significant improvements in obesity-related complications, including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and sleep apnea.

When choosing Duke for duodenal switch, consider:

  • Excellent patient outcomes. Our weight loss programs at Duke Regional Hospital and Duke Raleigh Hospital are designated as MBSAQIP Accredited – Comprehensive Centers by the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP). In addition, our weight loss surgery programs are recognized by private insurance companies, including Cigna and OptumHealth. We have achieved this recognition because we consistently deliver high-quality care, comprehensive services and achieve positive patient outcomes.
  • Years of experience. Our weight loss program has been serving Raleigh and Durham for more than 20 years. It is staffed by board-certified surgeons who are fellowship-trained, meaning they have completed additional years of training in bariatric surgery. They perform approximately 800 bariatric surgeries each year. Studies show that surgical experience is an important indicator of your successful outcome.
  • Our commitment to you. Our surgeons, physician assistants, psychologists, nutritionists, endocrinologists, nursing, and anesthesia teams are committed to helping you achieve your weight loss goals. We work with you and your doctor to establish a successful weight loss plan.
  • Choosing the right approach. Your initial consultation will include an extensive physical exam and nutritional, psychological, and lifestyle evaluation. We also carefully evaluate you for all related medical conditions. This often requires special studies and occasionally consultations from medical specialists. This information helps us recommend the safest, most effective surgical approach for you.
  • Scheduling your procedure. Scheduling surgery depends on your individual circumstances and insurance requirements. Surgery typically occurs within weeks of the initial consultation.
  • Safer, minimally invasive surgery. Nearly 99 percent of our weight loss surgeries are completed laparoscopically, meaning they only require small incisions. In some cases, we use robotic tools to minimize incisions for more complex procedures that would normally require larger incisions. Smaller incisions translate to less pain, fewer complications, smaller scars, shorter stays, and faster recovery. Sometimes an abdominal incision is necessary based on your weight, body shape, and surgery history.
  • Post-surgery body contouring. If unwanted, loose skin and tissue hide the results of weight loss surgery, our skilled plastic surgeons can work with you to smooth and shape your body and ensure you feel and look your best.
  • Support groups before and after surgery. We offer free, monthly and weekly support groups in Durham and Raleigh to people who are preparing for weight loss surgery, as well as those who have already had surgery. Our experts address a variety of topics including nutrition, exercise and lifestyle changes. You will also have the opportunity to talk to people with similar experiences in an educational and supportive setting. Your weight loss surgery did not have to be performed at Duke to participate in these support groups.

Comprehensive consultation

The journey to weight loss surgery includes several consultations to evaluate your medical condition and overall well-being. The consultations are typically scheduled to take place during your first visit to our weight loss surgery clinic.


Several tests are needed to complete the medical evaluation. Tests can be completed at Duke Raleigh Hospital or Duke Regional Hospital, or your surgeon can order the tests at a location that is convenient to you.

Patient resources

Take the First Steps

View the Online Information Seminar to determine if weight loss surgery is right for you. Then, the first step in scheduling weight loss surgery is the New Patient Evaluation. This 4-hour appointment includes a group classroom session that will help guide you in determining the right procedure. 

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