INTRODUCTION: In 2014, over 314,000 breast augmentations were performed in the United States according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, making it one of the most commonly performed cosmetic surgery1. By the sheer volume of annual breast augmentations performed, it stands to reason that refinements in technique, device preferences, and discussions about managing complications are reported often in the plastic surgery literature. With dozens of articles being published monthly across the various plastic surgery journals, it is impossible to discern which articles over time have been the most influential to the practice of cosmetic breast augmentation today. However, the relevance or impact of a scientific article is reflected by the number of citations from peers that it receives2, 3. As an area of continued interest in plastic surgery, the authors aim to identify and analyze the top 50 most cited articles pertaining to breast augmentation.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A literature search was performed utilizing the Thomson/Reuters Web of Knowledge to identify the most highly cited articles on breast augmentation in 7 prominent plastic surgery journals. The top 50 papers were analyzed for journal distribution, total citations, year of publication, citations/year, number of authors, type of article (technique, outcomes, review, or psychosocial), national and institutional origin, and top contributors.
RESULTS: The top 50 most cited articles were identified. All articles came from seven journals: PRS (80%), Annals (6%), Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (4%), Clinics in Plastic Surgery (4%), Aesthetic Surgery Journal (2%), British Journal of Plastic Surgery (2%), and Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive, and Aesthetic Surgery (2%) (Table 1). The number of citations ranged from 58 to 207, with an average of 88.3 citations. Nation of origin for first authors indicated 62% from the USA, followed by 8% from Sweden, 6% from the UK, 6% from Denmark, and 2% each from nine other countries. The most prolific author was Cunningham BL who was first or co-author on four of the top 50 most cited papers, and Tebbetts JB, Deapen DM, Burkhardt BR, and Brody GS, who had three each (Table 2).
CONCLUSIONS: The authors identified the top 50 articles that represent important topics in the field of breast augmentation. The analysis serves to aid potential authors to identify characteristics that are associated with a “classic” article.
2. Seglen PO. Why the impact factor of journals should not be used for evaluating research. BMJ. 1997;314:498
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3. Seglen Per O. “Causal relationship between article citedness and journal impact.” Journal of the American Society for Information Science. 1994;45(1):1–11