Comparison of Surgical Activity and Scientific Publications in Bariatric Surgery: an Epidemiological and Bibliometric Analysis



In the last two decades, an impressive increase in the number of surgical interventions was recorded in bariatric surgery. Similarly, several bibliometric studies reported an increasing trend for scientific production. This study aims to compare these two trends.


This study focused on the period 2003–2016 and included the following procedures: adjustable gastric banding (AGB), bilio-pancreatic deviation (BPD), one-anastomosis gastric bypass (OAGB), Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB), sleeve gastrectomy (SG), and vertical banded gastroplasty (VBG). We retrieved the data on intervention from International Federation for the Surgery of Obesity and Metabolic Disorders (IFSO) surveys and data from publications from the Web of Science database. An analysis of the global trend and the trend per continent was performed.


Over the study period, the most common procedure to be performed was RYGB (47.1%) followed by SG (33.5%) and AGB (14.8%). The percentage of publications was similar, with 48.3% studies on RYGB, 18.5% on AGB, and 18.4% on SG. In terms of evolution, SG has become the most common procedure to be performed in every continent but Latin America, while RYGB remains the most frequently discussed in scientific publications. Asia has the highest rate of publications per 1000 interventions (4.7), followed by Europe (3.0), the Pacific (2.0), and North America (1.6).


This study found many similarities in the trend of publications and interventions in bariatric surgery: in particular with an important growth rate in the last 15 years and the progressive polarization toward two procedures (SG and RYGB). Nevertheless some important differences persist at a national level.

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Correspondence to Luca Paolino.

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Conflict of Interest

Luca Paolino has no conflict of interest, Riccardo Pravettoni has no conflict of interest, Salomé Epaud has no conflict of interest, Matthieu Ortala has no conflict of interest, and Andrea Lazzati has no conflict of interest.

No informed consent was required from all individual participants included because the study is based on bibliometric data.

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

For this type of study formal consent is not required.

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Paolino, L., Pravettoni, R., Epaud, S. et al. Comparison of Surgical Activity and Scientific Publications in Bariatric Surgery: an Epidemiological and Bibliometric Analysis. OBES SURG 30, 3822–3830 (2020).

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  • Bibliometric
  • Obesity surgery
  • Worldwide
  • Publications
  • Epidemiology
  • Cartography