Statistics released by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons showed plastic surgeons reported doing 300 arm lifts in 2000, but almost 15,500 arm lifts in 2011. Ninety-eight percent of arm lift procedures were performed on middle-age women.
Dr. Gregory Evans, president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, said upper arm lifts -- which cost an average of $4,000 -- include liposuction or a surgical procedure known as brachioplasty, in which loose skin is removed from the back of the arm.
A brachioplasty involves an incision from the elbow to underarm, generally on the back of the arm, leaving a visible and permanent scar.
Patients should carefully consider the pros and cons before having an upper arm lift, particularly a brachioplasty, said Dr. David Reath, chairman of the ASPS public education committee.
"It's a trade off," Reath said. "We get rid of the skin, but we leave a scar."