Biliopancreatic Diversion Pros and Cons

Biliopancreatic diversion entails a surgical procedure that is highly restrictive and malabsorptive. It restricts the amount of food that the stomach is able to hold at any given time. It also regulates the amount of calories and food that is absorbed into someone’s bloodstream hence the term malabsorptive.

Biliopancreatic diversion involves the removal of the lower two-thirds portions of the stomach and attaching the remaining part of the stomach to the distal segment of the ileum. It effectively bypasses the duodenum and the jejunum, ensuring nutrient absorption is significantly reduced hence culminating into weight loss. Biliopancreatic diversion is very effective in weight loss since its success rate is very high. This article looks at the advantages and disadvantages of biliopancreatic diversion.


  • Highly Effective

Biliopancreatic diversion is very effective and successful when compared to other types of weight loss surgeries. It produces very long-term results extending to 18 to 24 months after the performance of the surgery. In fact, the surgery ensures that there is maintenance of weight loss of around 80% of the excess weight even 10 years post-surgery. This prevents any recurrence of future instances of obesity.

  • Leads to Enhanced Quality of Life

The procedure enhances the quality of life, and this can be due to improved mobility. Your fitness after weight loss also culminates into a boosted self-esteem and a better sense of living. In addition to this, the surgery helps to alleviate and improve other health issues or illnesses often attributed to obesity. An example is hypertension and diabetes. All these help to improve the quality of your life

  • Adjustability

The biliopancreatic diversion procedure is adjustable. This means that there is a partial chance of reversing it through the performance of another surgery.

  • A Great Alternative to Other Weight Loss Procedures

Biliopancreatic diversion is suitable especially if you have tried other weight loss methods to no avail. However, it could complement other weight loss methods such as working out.


  • It is Complex

Among all other weight loss surgeries, biliopancreatic diversion is the most complicated. It is an open surgery, making it very delicate. It is for this reason that the procedure should be done by a professional. Due to its complexity, biliopancreatic diversion happens to be quite risky. The main reason behind this is that it is performed as an open surgery instead of laparoscopically. It has a death risk of 1 for every 200 surgeries done. Its complexity therefore implies that the risk of death is very high compared to other surgeries.

Apart from causing death, you could be at risk of getting anemia due to lack of iron. You can also get osteoporosis if you do not take supplements as directed by your doctor.

  • Extended Recovery Time

The recovery time for biliopancreatic diversion ranges from 6 to 8 weeks. This could make you take a substantial time off work to ensure that you recover properly.

  • Flatulence and High Stool Frequency

After a biliopancreatic diversion procedure, you will find yourself visiting the washrooms more than the ordinary person. Flatulence and further diarrhea can also happen spawning from the ingestion of very fatty foods.

  • Change of Diet

You have to change your diet forever as directed by your doctor. You shall be required to adjust your lifestyle entirely.

  • The Created Need for Supplements

You shall be subjected to a lifelong need of consuming fat-soluble vitamins to compensate for the lack due to malabsorption.

Biliopancreatic diversion is a surgical procedure meant to help you lose weight after trying several methods such as dieting and exercise without any significant results. Although biliopancreatic diversion is beneficial, it has its own downsides. Just like with any other surgery that is ever performed, there are risks that can happen. You should therefore weigh the aforementioned advantages and disadvantages and make a conscious decision of whether the pros outweigh the cons.

Your doctor should inform you accordingly about the risks associated with it prior to the performance of the surgery. Whatever the risks involved, complications do not happen all the time. Everything is premised on your health and wellbeing.