Background: This report summarizes our 15-year experience with duodenal switch (DS) as a primary procedure on 1,423 patients from 1992 to 2005.
Methods: Within the last 2 years, follow-up of these patients, including clinical biochemistry evaluation by us or by their local physician is 97%.
Results: Survival rate was 92% after DS. The risk of death (Excess Hazard Ratio (EHR)) was 1.2, almost that of the general population. After a mean of 7.3 years (range 2-15), 92% of patients with an initial BMI < or = 50 kg/m2 obtained a BMI < 35 and 83% of those with an initial BMI > 50 obtained a BMI < 40. Diabetes was cured (i.e. medication was discontinued) in 92% and medication decreased in the others. The use of the CPAP apparatus was discontinued in 90%, medication for asthma was decreased in 88%, and the prevalence of a cardiac risk index > 5 was decreased by 86%. Patients' satisfaction in regard to weight loss was graded 3.6 on a basis of 5, and 95% of patients were satisfied with the overall results. Operative mortality was 1% which is comparable with gastric bypass surgery. The need for revision for malnutrition was rare (0.7%) and total reversal was exceptional (0.2%). Failure to lose > 25% of initial excess weight was 1.3%. Revision for failure to lose sufficient weight was needed in only 1.5%. Severe anemia, deficiency in vitamins or bone damage were exceptional, easily treatable, preventable and no permanent damage was documented.
Conclusion: In the long-term, DS was very efficient in terms of cure rate for morbid obesity and its comorbidities. In terms of risk/benefit, DS was very sucessful with an appropriate system of follow-up.