SOURCE: American Society of Plastic Surgeons

American Society of Plastic Surgeons

April 29, 2013 07:00 ET

Plastic Surgery Trend Has Women Armed for Spring and Summer

Inspired by Strong-Armed Celebrities, Upper Arm Lifts Jump 4,378% Since 2000, New ASPS Statistics Show

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL--(Marketwired - Apr 29, 2013) - New statistics released by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) show arm lifts in women have skyrocketed more than 4,000 percent in just over the last decade. It is a trend fueled, in part, by sleeveless fashions for women and more focus on strong-armed celebrities. In 2000, more than 300 women got upper arm lift procedures. Last year, more than 15,000 did.

Arm Lifts By The Numbers:
Procedures in 2012

  • Overall: 15,457 - up 3% since 2011 / 4,473% since 2000
  • Women: 15,136 - up 4,378% since 2000
  • 98% of arm lift patients were women
  • Most popular with patients over 40. The majority, 43%, of patients were ages 40 and 54, 33% were over age 55. 
  • Average surgeon fee: $3,939 / total spent on arm lifts: $61 million

Upper arm lifts can include liposuction or a surgical procedure known as brachioplasty, in which loose skin is removed from the back of the arms.

"Women are paying more attention to their arms in general and are becoming more aware of options to treat this area," said ASPS President Gregory Evans, MD. "For some women, the arms have always been a troublesome area and, along with proper diet and exercise, liposuction can help refine them. Others may opt for a brachioplasty when there is a fair amount of loose skin present with minimal elasticity."

Doctors say there is no single reason behind the increase, though celebrities from the White House to the red carpet may be having an influence. A recent poll* conducted on behalf of ASPS found that women are paying attention to the arms of female celebrities.

According to the poll, women most admire the arms of first lady Michelle Obama, followed closely by Jennifer Aniston. Actresses Jessica Biel and Demi Moore, and daytime TV talk show host Kelly Ripa also got votes for their toned arms.

Arm lift patient Natalie Robinson, 24, of Knoxville, Tenn., was inspired by the arms of the first lady. "I looked at Michelle Obama and said 'Oh my gosh, I want her arms.' When I first started losing weight and started to tone up, I had her image in my head."

Robinson lost more than 170 pounds, but still wasn't entirely happy. "I had a lot of excessive skin around my upper arms," she said. That's when Robinson contacted ASPS Public Education Committee Chair David Reath, MD, who performed her brachioplasty.

A brachioplasty requires an incision from the elbow to the armpit, generally on the back of the arm, leaving a visible and permanent scar. "It's a trade off. We get rid of the skin, but we leave a scar," said Dr. Reath. "So, as long as there's enough improvement to be made in the shape of the arm to justify the scar, then it's a great procedure."

For more new statistics on trends in plastic surgery including gender, age, regional, average fees and other breakouts, refer to the ASPS 2012 National Clearinghouse of Plastic Surgery Procedural Statistics report at http://www.plasticsurgery.org/news-and-resources/2012-plastic-surgery-statistics.html. Information about procedures and referrals to ASPS Member Surgeons can be found at www.PlasticSurgery.org

HD VIDEO, SOTS, PHOTOS ETC: bit.ly/14STmA2

About ASPS
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) is the world's largest organization of board-certified plastic surgeons. With more than 7,000 members, ASPS comprises more than 94 percent of all board-certified plastic surgeons in the United States. The Society represents physicians certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery or The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. Visit ASPS at PlasticSurgery.org or Facebook.com/PlasticSurgeryASPS and Twitter.com/ASPS_News.

*Poll was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons from March 28-April 1, 2013, among 1,219 women, ages 18 and older. This online poll is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

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