A biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch (BPD/DS) is a less-common weight-loss procedure that entails two major steps.
The first step is sleeve gastrectomy in which about 80 percent of the stomach is removed, leaving a smaller tube-shaped stomach, similar to a banana. However, the valve that releases food to the small intestine (the pyloric valve) remains, along with a limited portion of the small intestine that normally connects to the stomach (duodenum).
The second step bypasses the majority of the intestine by connecting the end portion of the intestine to the duodenum near the stomach. A BPD/DS both limits how much you can eat and reduces the absorption of nutrients, including proteins and fats.
BPD/DS is generally performed as a single procedure; however, in select circumstances, the procedure may be performed as two separate operations — sleeve gastrectomy followed by intestinal bypass once weight loss has begun.
While a BPD/DS is very effective, it has more risks, including malnutrition and vitamin deficiencies. This procedure is generally recommended for people with a body mass index (BMI) greater than 50.
The duodenum, or the first portion of the small intestine, is divided just past the outlet of the stomach. A segment of the distal (last portion) small intestine is then brought up and connected to the outlet of the newly created stomach, so that when the patient eats, the food goes through a newly created tubular stomach pouch and empties directly into the last segment of the small intestine. Roughly three-fourths of the small intestine is bypassed by the food stream.
The bypassed small intestine, which carries the bile and pancreatic enzymes that are necessary for the breakdown and absorption of protein and fat, is reconnected to the last portion of the small intestine so that they can eventually mix with the food stream. Similar to the other surgeries described above, the BPD/DS initially helps to reduce the amount of food that is consumed; however, over time this effect lessens and patients are able to eventually consume near “normal” amounts of food. Unlike the other procedures, there is a significant amount of small bowel that is bypassed by the food stream.
Additionally, the food does not mix with the bile and pancreatic enzymes until very far down the small intestine. This results in a significant decrease in the absorption of calories and nutrients (particularly protein and fat) as well as nutrients and vitamins dependent on fat for absorption (fat soluble vitamins and nutrients). Lastly, the BPD/DS, similar to the gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy, affects guts hormones in a manner that impacts hunger and satiety as well as blood sugar control. The BPD/DS is considered to be the most effective surgery for the treatment of diabetes among those that are described here.
A BPD/DS is done to help you lose excess weight and reduce your risk of potentially life-threatening weight-related health problems, including:
As with any major surgery, a BPD/DS poses potential health risks, both in the short term and long term.
Risks associated with BPD/DS are similar to any abdominal surgery and can include:
If you qualify for a BPD/DS, your health care team gives you instructions on how to prepare for surgery. You may need to have various lab tests and exams before surgery.
The specifics of your surgery depend on your individual situation and your doctor’s practices. Some surgeries are done with traditional large, or open, incisions in your abdomen, while some may be performed laparoscopically, which involves inserting instruments through multiple small incisions in your abdomen.
BPD/DS is done in the hospital. The length of your hospital stay will depend on your recovery and which procedure you’re having done. When performed laparoscopically, your hospital stay may last around two days.