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Aesthetic surgery is one pillar of plastic surgery. Thus, not surprisingly, journals exist that focus predominantly on advances within this subspecialty. However, rarely has the process of systematic reviewing that identified randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and controlled clinical trials (CCTs) been conducted within this subspecialty. All original articles published in Aesthetic Plastic Surgery were analyzed to identify all RCTs and CCTs. The proportion of RCTs and CCTs in all original articles was determined, and the quality of reporting was assessed on the basis of established quality items. Additional parameters were investigated including reporting of statistically significant differences, type of institution, and country affiliation of the first author. Of the 1,048 original articles analyzed, 11 (1%) and 24 (2.3%) articles met the inclusion criteria for RCTs and CCTs, respectively. Only two studies were single blinded, whereas only one study reported on successful double blinding and appropriate allocation concealment. Notably, these trials were RCTs. Participant dropout was reported in one study. Statistically significant differences were reported in 18 trials, 6 of which were RCTs. The annual publication of RCTs has increased over the past 5 years. North America and Europe contributed a total of 28 controlled trials (80%). Controlled trials are being conducted in aesthetic surgery at a strikingly low rate. However, a recent increase in published RCTs reflects the recognition that performing outcome studies is pivotal in moving practice toward a foundation based on assessment by outcome. The quality of reporting, however, needs improvement.
View details for DOI 10.1007/s00266-007-9075-9
View details for Web of Science ID 000253680200027
View details for PubMedID 18058165