Chronic Diarrhea After Duodenal Switch (DS) Surgery

Question Below Submitted By:  

Gary H. (a patient from Duson, LA, USA)

I had my DS surgery on June 5, 2013 and have brutal diarrhea – the watery kind. I was wondering how dangerous this is.

My gastro doc says I can live with it as long as I stay hydrated. Will this be ok, or should I be very concerned?

So far I have tried Questran, Welcar, Caraffate, Creon, Lotomil and Immodium . I tried the elimination diet… no matter what I eat I have a reaction… even water.

I seem to tolerate the diarrhea, but is it dangerous even if I stay hydrated?



Expert Responses to the Question Above

Bariatric surgeon at CBGSA , Arcadia , California

by: Dr. Troy LaMar

Hi Gary,

Having a Duodenal switch certainly can make you prone to diarrhea, but having severe lifelong diarrhea would not be normal....

Sounds like you have tried all the appropriate meds to attempt to slow the diarrhea.

Certainly, you need to see your Bariatric surgeon, and/or another Gastroenterologist.

Patients with a Duodenal Switch, have a short common channel, and therefore, more likely to have less absorption, hence potential diarrhea.

Some DS patients who don't do well require a conversion to a Gastric Bypass, which shortens the common channel, hopefully increasing absorption and decreasing diarrhea...

Good luck,
Troy LaMar MD

los angeles bariatric surgeon

(click here for Dr. LaMar's full bio & contact info)

DISCLAIMER: This educational advice is based on the depth of your question and the details provided. The above should never replace the advice of your local physicians as they have the ability to evaluate you in person.


Patient Responses to the Question Above

Coping after DS

by: Susie

Hello, Just like the last patient with DS, I too had DS surgery in June 2013. Additionally had a hernia and esophagus repair and subsequent gall bladder removal. Contracted C-Diff and experience pain every time I eat. I finally feel human in December. However, have extreme diarrhea.

Regardless of what I eat or don't eat every 3 days it is uncontrollable. Lomotil works for 2 days but this cycle is brutal. its hard to be in public and I worry when I am at work.

Will this always be this way? Is it common? ( have lost 70 lbs so far..) P.S I was raised in Arcadia CA....nice area..

Susie in Utah

Chronic Diarrhea

by: Laurie Hayes

Gary, how is the diarrhea? I suffer from this also. I went to a Gastroenterologist, who told me I was "constipated" and needed to take laxatives. Tried to tell him that wasn't true. Just couldn't get him to understand that the DS was involved. Did you find something that works for you?

DS diarrhea

by: Marc Kradolfer

I am having the same problem. Got operated in 2008 and for 7 or 8 years had on off diarrhea with some periods of normal stools.

For the past year things have changed, now it's just this foamy nasty watery diarrhea and no matter what I take, nothing changed. Usually in bathroom at least 4-6 times a day. Can't go anywhere unless I'm empty, risk major mishap as when combined with gas there is no waiting to get to a bathroom , it's now or shit your pants.

Went to see a gastroenterologist and he was of no help at all. Don't know why after years my system would change like this, gastro ran all kinds of tests and no solution. Life is now miserable.

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