Artificial Intelligence in Plastic Surgery

Current Applications, Future Directions, and Ethical Implications

Tyler Jarvis, BS; Danielle Thornburg, MD; Alanna M. Rebecca, MD, MBA; Chad M. Teven, MD


Plast Reconstr Surg Glob Open. 2020;8(10):e3200 

In This Article


Literature Review

We conducted a systematic search of all electronically available publications as of February 5, 2020. Two authors (TJ and CT) independently performed the review to ensure accuracy and completeness. Publications that focused on the application of AI in plastic surgery were evaluated for inclusion.

Search Strategy

A search was performed in 3 databases: PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science. A review of citations in all procured articles from the database search was performed for publications from 2000 to 2020. Keywords used for the search included: artificial intelligence, machine learning, natural language processing, big data, nanotechnology, and plastic surgery. A diagrammatic representation of the search scheme is displayed in Figure 1. A secondary search was performed to identify articles that highlight ethical and historical considerations for AI in healthcare.

Figure 1.

Diagrammatic representation of the literature search performed.

Inclusion Criteria

All studies returned from the database queries utilizing the keywords were reviewed for applicability. Based on an abstract screening, publications were included if the content centered on the application of AI in plastic surgery. Due to the limited number of articles currently available, no restrictions were made based on publication type, quality, study methods, or risk of bias. Only published articles were included in the review.

Exclusion Criteria

A primary abstract screen was performed to exclude any article not pertaining to the application of AI in plastic surgery. A secondary screen excluded articles unavailable in English or without full text access by our institution's library.