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Michelle Obama arms race: the quest for the first lady's triceps

Posted By CAROLINE LEE, UPI.com   |   April 30, 2013 at 12:09 PM   |   Comments

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April 30 (UPI) -- Upper-arm-lift procedures in the U.S. have increased from 338 in 2000 to nearly 15,500 in 2012, a survey from The American Society of Plastic Surgeons reported today.

Most of the surgeries are familiar ones: There were 1.6 million face-lifts, liposuctions and rhinoplasties in the U.S. in 2012. Even more common were minimally invasive procedures like Botox, accounting for 13 million operations. Breast augmentation was, for the seventh year in a row, the most popular form of cosmetic surgery.

Americans spent $11 million on cosmetic procedures in 2012.

But the upper-arm lift, called a brachioplasty, went up 4,378 percent since 2000 -- and poll data says first lady Michelle Obama may be partly responsible.

Women "are paying closer to the arms of female celebrities," according to the survey. And the first lady's are some of the most enviable. Other contenders, as listed by the Los Angeles Times, were the arms of Jennifer Aniston, Demi Moore and Kelly Ripa.

The procedure involves an incision, usually on the inside of the arm, from shoulder to elbow. It removes excess skin and uses liposuction to achieve a slimmer upper arm.

Dr. David Reath, chair of the ASPS Public Education Committee, cautioned women looking into the procedure, as brachioplasties often leave visible scars.

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