Biliopancreatic Diversion with Duodenal Switch (BPD/DS)
The BPD/DS is the type of surgery that I had. I researched all the surgeries available and I had known people that had a gastric bypass and had gained all their weight back. I didn’t want to go through this entire experience to only gain it back again. The BPD/DS offered me the best chance to get the weight off and most people don’t regain back all the weight they lost. However, gaining weight is possible, as I have experienced the last few months of having to be on prednisone.
The BPD/DS is extreme in that the majority of your stomach is removed, leaving a sleeve that starts out very small. They also separate your small intestine so that there are two limbs: one that carries pancreatic and digestive juices and the other that carries the food you eat. They meet up about 100 cm before the large intestine. That gives you about 3 feet in which to digest what you eat and get nutrients including vitamins. A normal person has about 18 feet in which to digestive food and get nutrients.
The diet for a person with BPD/DS surgery is high protein and actually high fat. We tend to not be able to get enough of the fat soluble vitamins like Vitamins D, A, E, and K. The lifelong commitment to taking vitamins to ensure you remain healthy is a must for this surgery. There is an excellent website that gives all the basics of this surgery including information on how your body will absorb food. Check out DS Facts at http://www.dsfacts.com. One other resource that I used in my research and through the first part of my journey was Obesity Help at http://www.obesityhelp.com. They have message boards for support and provide real life information on living with your new altered anatomy.
Other types of weight loss surgery do exist. You can have the gastric bypass, which was the standard for a very long time. You could also try the Lap Band or just have your stomach altered in to a sleeve without the intestine part of the surgery. Whichever type of surgery you elect for weight loss, do your research! A good place to start is at WebMD and their definition of the types of surgeries that are available. You want to be sure you can live with the lifestyle changes that weight loss surgery requires and are able to deal with the complications that might arise.
One final note, make sure that you select a surgeon that is well vetted and has performed the surgery you seek multiple times. Complications do occur but ensuring your surgeon is a veteran at performing the surgery and has many years experience with potential complications could mean the difference between life and death.