Endocrinol Metab.  2017 Sep;32(3):307-315. 10.3803/EnM.2017.32.3.307.

Metabolic Surgery in Korea: What to Consider before Surgery

  • 1Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, Keimyung University School of Medicine, Daegu, Korea.
  • 2Department of Surgery, Inha University School of Medicine, Incheon, Korea. gshur@inha.ac.kr


Obesity is increasing globally and represents a significant global health problem because it predisposes towards various diseases, such as type 2 diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease, degenerative joint disease, and certain types of cancer. Numerous studies have shown that bariatric surgery reduces body mass and ameliorates obesity-related complications, such as hypertension and hyperglycemia, suggesting that surgery is the most effective therapeutic option for severely obese and obese diabetic patients. Recent international guidelines recommend surgical treatment for diabetic patients with class III obesity (body mass index [BMI] >40 kg/m²), regardless of their level of glycemic control or the complexity of their glucose-lowering regimens, and for patients with class II obesity (BMI 35.0 to 39.9 kg/m²) and hyperglycemia that is poorly controlled despite appropriate lifestyle and pharmacological therapy. The most popular procedures are Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy, but new procedures with better outcomes have been reported. For optimal surgical outcome, comprehensive management including assessments of a medical condition, nutrition, mental health, and social support is needed before and after surgery. However, there is still a lack of understanding regarding metabolic surgery in Korea. Therefore, this article reviews indications for metabolic surgery in patients with a specific focus on the situation in Korea.


Bariatric surgery; Diabetes mellitus, type 2; Obesity
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