After a biliopancreatic diversion, the patient will only be able to eat a very small amount of food. Immediately after the surgery he will have to be on liquid diet for a few days which will slowly progress to semi solid and then solid food. But the quantity will be much lesser than what he used to eat before. But by the time a year has passed he will be able to resume normal food but his weight will not increase as the operation sees to it that the food does not pass through the area of the intestine, which absorbs the maximum calories from food.
The food passes through only forty percent of the small intestine and so reaches the colon faster than normal and hence has less time to digest properly. This may cause diarrhea and bad smelling stools. But this will also cause the patient to reduce his weight and reach the desired level. Bile from the liver and pancreatic juice from the pancreas have just one tenth the normal time to digest the food in the small bowel because of the operation. The caecum is just about 70 cms from the bowel and hence fat, starch and protein do not break down and they do not absorb properly. Only about twenty five percent are absorbed and this is a major alteration in the digestive process. This poorly digested food goes out of the body and hence weight control is maintained.
The patient gets back to normal about five to six weeks after the biliopancreatic diversion procedure. If it has been done in the open surgery method, then the incision on the stomach is quite large. This will take time to heal and the patient has to be very careful not to exert himself or put any strain on his stomach by lifting things or by bending. He can take walks if there is no pain but other form of exercises is restricted till the wound has completely healed.
He has to see that there is no infection of the wound. If there are any unexpected happenings, like rise in temperature, swelling at the operated site or pain, he should consult the doctor immediately. Rest and medicines work wonders and the human body can bounce back to health even after such a big operation. If it is done laproscopically there is less tension, pain and chance of infection.
Some of the complications arising out of this procedure are forming of abscess or peritonitis if there is leakage of digestive fluids from the stomach to the intestines. There could be internal hemorrhage or pancreatitis, myocardial infarction or pneumonia after the operation and the patient has to take utmost care not to catch any of these illnesses. Long-term problems could be vitamin and calcium deficiencies or diarrhea or small bowel adhesions. Some are life threatening. There is a 1.5 % mortality rate in this operation. The recovery period is three to six months and it is quite common for patients to feel weak or have periods of nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.
The patient can eat normal food after a year but it is wiser if he takes protein rich food first. Too much of fatty food or spicy food can lead to obnoxious odor from the stools. So these foods should be avoided. Vitamin supplements should be taken regularly.
Biliopancreatic diversion post op
Weight loss surgery
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