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Int J Surg. 2016 Jun;30:126-31. doi: 10.1016/j.ijsu.2016.04.048. Epub 2016 May 4.

Global scientific production of robotic surgery in medicine: A 20-year survey of research activities.

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Orthopedic Department, Shanghai Tenth People's Hostipal, Tongji University School of Medicine, China.
Orthopedic Department, Shanghai Tenth People's Hostipal, Tongji University School of Medicine, China. Electronic address:



Robot-assisted surgery operations are being performed more frequently in the world these years. In order to have a macroscopic view of publication activities about robotic surgery, the first bibliometric analysis was conducted to investigate the publication distributions of robotic surgery.


The original articles about robotic surgery were extracted from the Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-E) on Web of Science and analyzed concerning their distributions. We also explored the potential correlations between publications of different countries and their Gross Domestic Product (GDP).


The total number of original articles retrieved from SCI-E was 3362 from 1994 to 2015. The number of original articles published in the last decade has a burgeoning increase of 572.87% compared with that published in the former decade. The leading country was USA who have published 1402 pieces of articles (41.701%), followed by Germany with 342 (10.173%). The journal published the highest number of original articles was Journal of Endourology with 237 (7.049%), followed by Surgical Endoscopy and Other Interventional Techniques (188, 5.592%). There was strong correlations between publication numbers and GDP of different countries (r(2) = 0.889, p < 0.001). In the different medical fields, urology has the highest number of articles (n = 878, 26.007%).


The macroscopic view of research activities has the potential to guide future trend in the field of robotic surgery.


There is a skyrocket trend of robotic surgery in medical research over the last two decades, and countries with high GDP tend to make more contributions to the medical field of robotic surgery.


Bibliometric analysis; Gross domestic product (GDP); Robot surgery

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