This paper looks at research done in South Africa from 2010 to 2016. We reviewed a total of 679 abstracts, posters and oral presentations submitted to the SAJS and the ASSA congresses during this time. During this time 21945 patients were investigated with an average of 577,5 patients per study. Each paper had on average 3,5 authors. The most popular topics are trauma (23%), gastrointestinal surgery (18%) and breast (11%). Upcoming topics include: reducing sepsis, global surgery, procedural discussion, infectious diseases (HIV/ TB), post-operative healing, ENT, neuro, plastic surgery, cardiothoracic and paediatric surgery. The most active centres are the University of KwaZulu-Natal (27%), WITS (22%) and UCT (21%). There has been a marked decrease in animal studies. There has been an increase in work done by surgical registrars, medical officers and students and the number of collaborations between centres and internationally are increasing.