Background: Rhinoplasty is a popular aesthetic and reconstructive surgical procedure. It is one of the top five surgical cosmetic procedures performed worldwide.
Objectives: To evaluate global trends in rhinoplasty research spanning 20 years between 1994 and 2013.
Methods: The top 15 plastic surgery and otolaryngology journals containing rhinoplasty research were determined using impact factors (IF). A database of rhinoplasty articles from 1994 to 2013 was created to include the following classifications: IF, authors' geographic location, study design, level of evidence (LOE), and pertinence to aesthetic or reconstructive rhinoplasty. Productivity index and productivity share were calculated for each region.
Results: A total of 1244 rhinoplasty articles were included in the database. The mean IF among the 15 journals increased from 0.75 in 1994 to 1.90 in 2013 (p < 0.001). The majority of rhinoplasty publications were clinical in study design (91.0%) and were predominantly of weaker LOE (level IV: 42.4%; level V: 33.2%). The USA led in proportion of total rhinoplasty publications by volume and productivity index (37.9%, 41.2%), followed by Asia (29.1%, 28.2%) and Western Europe (18.8%, 18.2%). The majority of articles published were classified as aesthetic (60.4%), whereas 30.6% were reconstructive; there was a significant increase in the proportion of aesthetic rhinoplasty articles published per year (p = 0.009).
Conclusions: The USA has consistently been the most productive country in rhinoplasty research. However, its lead has diminished over the last 20 years. The trend in rhinoplasty research appears to be toward aesthetic rather than reconstructive topics. Attention should be given to producing stronger LOE studies.
Level of evidence iii: This journal requires that authors assign a level of evidence to each article. For a full description of these Evidence-Based Medicine ratings, please refer to the Table of Contents or the online Instructions to Authors www.springer.com/00266 .
Keywords: Bibliometrics; Rhinoplasty; Rhinoplasty bibliometrics.