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 Biliopancreatic Diversion Surgery

Introduction to Biliopancreatic Diversion (BPD):

Biliopancreatic Diversion (BPD) differs from other weight loss surgeries like gastric bypass and laparoscopic band surgery because it involves the actual removal of portions of the stomach and the bypass of duodenum and jejunum to affect the absorption of calories and nutrients from foods. This process is called malabsorption, and is also used in gastric bypass procedures. Surgery based on malabsorption does carry some added risks, because nutrients which cannot be absorbed by the body may cause nutrition-related health problems. BPD is a more complicated surgery than gastric bypass or lap band surgery, and is usually reserved.


Under general anesthetic, the patient will be asleep for the two to three hours that open Pancreatic Diversion usually lasts. BPD removes ¾ of the stomach to restrict food input and acid output, and employs the malabsorption technique by reducing the area in which calories and nutrients can be absorbed.


Gastric Sleeve (Obesity Surgery) Patient

Elizabeth, Dallas


The stomach pouch that remains is larger than with other restrictive processes, and connected directly to the final segment of the small intestine and completely bypasses the duodenum and jejunum, where a large percentage of absorption of protein, fat and nutrients takes place. Patients are able to eat larger portions with BPD since the stomach area is larger than that of the stomach after a bypass or band procedure. Weight loss occurs since most of the calories and nutrients are routed into the colon where they are not absorbed. Although this procedure successfully promotes weight loss, it is less frequently used than other types of surgery because of the high risk for nutritional deficiencies.


Recovery time from Biliopancreatic Diversion can be longer due to the more complex nature of internal surgery, so expect a four to six day stay at the hospital. Patients recovering from BPD report feeling sore and tired, but are released from hospital after observation to return home. The stomach and redirected portions of the intestine will need time to heal, and activity will be minimal for about one week. Recovering from your surgery will be aided by planning your recovery ahead of time and ensuring that you will be comfortable when you are at home with everything you need in advance of your homecoming. After two weeks the patient should feel better and able to return to work and light exercise. While weight loss surgery can be of great benefit, no bariatric surgery works entirely by itself. Patients must make lifestyle changes to enhance results. Good diet, regular physical activity and health care are essential to the success of any surgery. Most weight loss surgery requires a minimum of one year’s worth of monthly follow-up visits, however, patients who undergo Biliopancreatic Diversion must see their doctors regularly to ensure good health and nutrition.


The main risk associated with malabsorptive weight loss operations is the nutritional deficiencies it creates. Patients will be required to take supplements for the rest of their lives to keep vitamin A, D, K and E levels normal. Iron and calcium levels are also effected, which can cause anemia and osteoporosis. While the stomach area remains somewhat larger that the stomach area in a bypass or lap band procedure, patients must still be careful about portion control to avoid nausea and sickness. As with any surgery, there are risks associated with prolonged use of anesthesia, surgical complications, blood loss and stomach leakage. To find out more about the risks associated with Biliopancreatic Diversion, please schedule a consultation with a qualified surgeon and arrive prepared with a list of questions to help you get the information you need to make a sound decision about the right weight loss surgery for you.

Weight Reduction Benefits of Biliopancreatic Diversion surgery

Biliopancreatic stomach bypass is a highly effective treatment for clinical or morbid obesity. Patients typically lose 66 percent of their pre-operative excess weight within two years. In one patient study (125 subjects), excess weight loss of 74 percent at one year, 78 percent at two years, 81 percent at three years, 84 percent at four years, and 91 percent at five years was achieved. If biliopancreatic bypass patients adhere strictly to their post-operative dietary and other lifestyle guidelines, they can expect to lose up to 80 percent of their excess weight and maintain this weight reduction, without weight regain, indefinitely. This weight loss alone can produce significant health benefits, like lower blood cholesterol, lower blood pressure, reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes and some cancers.