Though breast augmentation and Botox injections still reign as America’s most popular procedures, plastic surgeons are receiving more requests for a lesser known surgery called brachioplasty, or more commonly known as an upper-arm lift.
According to a new report published by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, more than 15,000 patients, 98% of which were women, spent $61 million on arm liposuction in 2012. The procedure, which involves making an incision along the backside of the arm to remove excess skin, has seen an uptick of more than 4,000% since its first offering in 2000 when only 338 patients asked for it. The average cost of the procedure runs about $3,939 and most of the patients in 2012 were females ages 40 to 54.
While doctors did not directly attribute the rise to any specific reason, the ASPS and the Los Angeles Times point to First Lady Michelle Obama’s widely admired arms as well as other hard-bodied celebrities as a contributing factor. According to the ASPS poll, 31% of women said they’d most like to have arms like FLOTUS, who has a Tumblr dedicated to her coveted pipes, while Jennifer Aniston’s arms came in a close second with 29%. But doctors emphasize that while the procedure is gaining popularity, the upper arm lift is not for everyone, suggesting women focus on diet and exercise to instead achieve those well-defined biceps and triceps.
This year’s report also notes that a total of 1.6 million patients underwent cosmetic surgeries like face-lifts, liposuction and rhinoplasty, 13 million opted for minimally invasive surgery like Botox injections and 5.6 million went under the knife for reconstructive surgery like tumor removal and scar revisions. But breast implants placed first for the seventh year in a row for most popular surgeries.