Biliopancreatic Diversion - how does it work? - Obesity Surgery Guide

This is a complicated procedure that is a less common alternative to a gastric bypass or any other weight loss surgery. It is a combination of both the restrictive and malabsorptive approaches. A section of the stomach is removed as part of this procedure, leaving a small pouch which can only hold a limited amount of food so will reduce an individual's food intake and so encourage weight loss. The small intestine is divided into two branches. One is the biliopancreatic branch where the digestive juices pass through, and the other is alimentary branch which is connected to the stomach pouch. The system of digestion is reduced so that fewer calories from food are absorbed.

It works in a similar way to a biliopancreatic diversion but involves a larger stomach pouch. However, it follows the same pattern as other procedures in that the space between the stomach and small intestine is opened which allows the release of food between the two. Another similarity is that the surgeon will leave a small opening at the start of the small intestine. This part of the small intestine is called the duodenum. When you eat food it travels down the stomach where the acids in the stomach break the food down before it moves into the duodenum. At the end of the stomach the food mixes with the other digestive juices.

The surgery will last around 2 to 3 hours and due to its longevity it may be necessary to be performed in two parts. The recovery period may be slightly longer than usual and could last up to 4 weeks.

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