Bariatric surgery: Asia-Pacific perspective

Wei Jei Lee, Weu Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

155 Citations (Scopus)


Background: There is a world-wide epidemic of overweight, obesity and morbid obesity. Bariatric surgery today, as the only effective therapy for morbid obesity, is expanding exponentially to meet the global epidemic of morbid obesity. Bariatric surgeons in the Asia-Pacific region had founded the Asia-Pacific Bariatric Surgery Group (APBSG) at Seoul, Korea on October 6, 2004. Methods: E-mail requests for information were sent to the national bariatric surgery leaders. These requests were followed, if necessary, by second e-mail requests and communications seeking clarification. The summary data was also discussed at the 1st Asia-Pacific Bariatric Consensus Meeting held in Taipei, February 27, 2005. Results: 11 countries or areas in Asia had started bariatric surgery and responded to the general questions. In 2004, 636 bariatric operations were performed by 61 bariatric surgeons. The earliest data for starting bariatric surgery was in 1974 in Taiwan. Following the development of gastric partition, Taiwan performed the first case in 1981, Japan in 1982 and Singapore in 1987. In 2004, 11 countries have started bariatric surgery. The APBSG was founded in 2004. In 2004, 12.1% of operations were open and 87.9% laparoscopic. The 6 most popular operations were: laparoscopic adjustable banding 42.3%; laparoscopic gastric bypass 34.2%; open vertical banded gastroplasty 7.5%; laparoscopic vertical banded gastroplasty 6.3%; laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy 6.3%; open gastric bypass 4.2%. Pooling open and laparoscopic procedures, relative percentages were gastric banding 42.3%; gastric bypass 38.4%; vertical banded gastroplasty 13.8%. The APBSG consensus meeting recommended bariatric surgery in Asian patients with BMI >37 or >32 with diabetes or two other obesity-related co-morbidities. Conclusions: Bariatric surgery is expanding rapidly in Asia to meet rapidly increasing obesity. The modification of the indications for bariatric surgery in the Asian is proposed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)751-757
Number of pages7
JournalObesity Surgery
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Asia
  • Bariatric surgery
  • Laparoscopy
  • Morbid obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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