Biliopancreatic diversion surgery - the operation

This procedure is very similar to the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. It is a ‘combination’ procedure: by that we mean it combines a restrictive element (stomach reduction) with a malabsorptive element (rerouting of the small intestine which affects food absorption).

If your procedure is a biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch (BPD/DS) then the main difference here is that your surgeon will leave a larger section of your stomach intact. This also means fewer undesirable effects such as ‘dumping syndrome’.

If it does not include a duodenal switch then your surgeon will connect the small intestine to the new stomach pouch as normal. In much the same way as performing a gastric bypass.

Your gallbladder will also be removed. The gallbladder produces bile which along with digestive juices and stomach acids helps to break down food. But, if you lose weight dramatically then there is a risk of you developing gallstones which would mean further surgery. So, in order to prevent this happening your surgeon will remove your gallbladder as well.

If you are having the BPD/DS then you can expect this take up to four hours to complete. It is a complex procedure especially if you are also having duodenal switch. As a result of this many surgeons prefer to perform it in two stages.

Biliopancreatic diversions guide sections

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