The arms are the fastest growing area for plastic surgery, according to a report by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).
In the US, upper-arm lifts have jumped a staggering 4,378 per cent in the last 10 years, with experts attributing the rise to people wanting to tone up following dramatic weight loss.
Also known as brachioplasty, the procedure is designed to reshape the underside of the upper arm from the armpit to the elbow, and involves the removal of excess loose skin and fat from saggy underarm areas sometimes referred to as bingo wings.
Upper arm skin tends to droop with age and after significant weight loss. Although exercise can strengthen and improve the underlying muscle tone of the upper arm, it cannot impact any extra skin that has lost its elasticity.
As well as the surgical excision of loose skin, the procedure may also incorporate liposuction to remove excess fat. Performed under general anaesthetic, the procedure may require an overnight stay in hospital but patients are often allowed to go home on the same day.
Dr David Reath, chairman of the public education committee for the society, says some people have so much extra skin that it can become something of a disability.
“If somebody’s in exercise class and doing the moves, they stop and their underarm area keeps moving. It can be uncomfortable and unsightly,” he said.
“The population of people who have had significant weight loss are now getting around to taking care of this. There is always a little bit of a snowball effect as far as people becoming aware.”
Coinciding with the release of the statistics, ASPS also shed some light on which celebrities might be influencing women in their pursuit of more-toned arms, with a poll revealing celebrities from the White House to the red carpet may be inspiring women.
According to the poll there are five celebs whose arms women most admired: Michelle Obama (31%); Jennifer Aniston (29%); Jessica Biel (16%); Kelly Ripa (13%); and Demi Moore (11%).