Arm lift surgery on the rise: 'Toned arms are very in'

EUGENE, Ore. - The American Society of Plastic Surgeons released new statistics that show upper arm lifts in women have increased 4,378 percent in the last decade, and a Eugene plastic surgeon said he has noticed the trend in his practice.

"In less than three weeks I have operated on three different patients with that exact same issue," said plastic surgeon Dr. Lee Daniel at his office off Country Club Rd. in Eugene on Monday. "And many times it is indeed people that have lost a lot of weight, but that's a hard spot to take care of on your own, even with diet and exercise."

In the year 2000, more than 300 women got upper arm lift surgery, according to the ASPS. In 2012, the group said more than 15,000 got upper arm lifts.

Daniel said upper arm lifts can include liposuction or a surgical procedure known as brachioplasty.

"So we cut out a section of the skin between those two points," said Daniel as he demonstrated the area on the arm he cuts during an arm lift surgery. "And that's called a brachioplasty, or an upper arm lift."

Daniel said many of his patients seeking upper arm lifts have recently lost a lot of weight, and extra skin is left hanging.

"The skin is the biggest organ in our body, but it can't shrink wrap itself back," said Daniel. "And so, that's where the plastic surgeons come in, and we're able to take care of that."

Pop culture may play a role in the medical trend.

"I do hear that a lot, yes, toned arms are very in," said personal trainer Stephanie Casey at International Fitness in Eugene on Monday.

A recent poll conducted on behalf of ASPS found many women admire the arms of well-known women like Michelle Obama and Jennifer Aniston. Jessica Biel, Demi Moore and Kelly Ripa also scored high on the poll of what women said they wanted their arms to look like.

"The people come in with those comments every week," said Dr. Daniel, "and so I have to know what those arms look like."

The ASPS reported that 98 percent of those who get upper arm lifts are women, a procedure most popular with patients over age 40.

Dr. Daniel said a typical arm lift surgery is a two-hour procedure that cost around $6,000. He said the average recovery time is around two weeks.

"I've scheduled another one this morning," Dr. Daniel said Monday. "This is a trend, and it's more than a trend."