Biliopancreatic Diversion

Biliopancreatic Diversion is both a restrictive and malaborptive procedure that works by altering the normal process of digestion, removing 2/3 of the stomach and rerouting food to pass by a section of the small intestine, thus limiting the amount of calorie absorption. Patients undergoing biliopancreatic diversion will feel full faster than before the surgery, which in turn cuts back the amount of food (and calories) consumed which is what leads to weight loss.

There are two versions of this surgery: Biliopancreatic diversion and a biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch. The difference between the two is the following:

  • Biliopancreatic Diversion – Part of the stomach is surgically removed, and the remaining portion of the stomach is connected to the lower portion or the distal segment of the small intestine.
  • Biliopancreatic Diversion with Duodenal Switch – Again a portion of the stomach is removed, but it is smaller than in the surgery without duodenal switch. And the remaining stomach remains attached to the duodenum (the upper part of the small intestine). The duodenum is connected to the lower part of the small intestine.

Advantages of Biliopancreatic Diversion

This surgery offers advantages that could make it the right decision for you. Advantages include:

  • Consistently exhibits larger weight loss totals
  • Helps improve other weight related health conditions (diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, etc..)
  • Diet less restrictive after surgery.
  • Partially reversible for those experiencing significant complications
  • Eliminates dumping syndrom common with other weight loss surgery options

Disadvantages of Biliopancreatic Diversion

This surgery does have it’s share of disadvantages that you should be aware of. Disadvantages include:

  • One of the more complicated surgeries
  • Due to complexity of surgery, higher rate of complications
  • Commonly performed as an open surgery as opposed to laparoscopically
  • Recovery time is longer. Usually from 6 to 8 weeks.
  • Require vitamin supplements for life
  • Often involves removal of gall bladder during surgery

Biliopancreatic Diversion is an option that is not as commonly performed as some of other options but does offer advantages that make it an attractive choice for some. Please consult with your doctor to discuss if Biliopancreatic Diversion is the right choice for you.