Plastic surgery has grown rapidly over the past decade, with increasing scientific output. The emergence of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has a considerable impact on plastic surgery.
To identify trends in published literature in plastic surgery from 2011 to 2021. To explore the impact of COVID-19 on scientific research output through bibliometric analysis methods.
Web of Science was searched by authors on December 23, 2021. Published papers about plastic surgery over the last decade were analyzed. The search output was imported into VOSviewer for science mapping.
The actual number of papers related to plastic surgery during the COVID-19 period was higher than expected one. For scientific outputs in plastic surgery, keywords about surgical practice had a high frequency. “Reconstruction,” “effect,” “flap,” “tissue,” “defect,” “model” maintained a high level of heat before and after COVID-19. The heat of “risk,” “complication,” “review,” “infection,” “cohort,” and “meta-analysis” increased after the outbreak of COVID-19. The international collaboration showed an upward trend despite the impact of COVID-19. From the perspective of the volume of plastic surgery publications, some journals had a more positive performance compared to the pre-epidemic period. The proportion of original articles decreased after the spread of COVID-19 from 70.26% to 63.84%.
Although the COVID-19 has a profound impact on the healthcare industry, the bibliographic data reveals an increasing scientific output in the field of plastic surgery over time. For plastic surgery, high-frequency terms, research hotspots, popular journals, article types, and international collaboration have changed under the influence of COVID-19.