More women getting upper arm lifts

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX -- It looks like more women are turning to plastic surgery for a different type of procedure. No, it's not the tummy tuck. Instead it's the arm lifts. The fast-growing trend is technically called a brachioplasty.  It removes extra under-arm fat.

Dr. Daniel Shapiro, a plastic surgeon out of Scottsdale, said he is seeing several patients a month who want nicer arms.

"I think people are very conscious about their arms now," Shapiro said.

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons says in 2000 only about 300 women got the surgery. In 2012, that number went up to 15,000 ... an increase of more than 4,000 percent.

A poll conducted by the society shows the reason for the procedure could be one of many things, including more women losing weight and wanting to get rid of excess skin. Women also being inspired by celebrities' well-toned arms. However, another major reason could be attributed to the new procedure that's less invasive and leaves a small scar.

"It's the minimal incision brachioplasty," Shapiro said. "The incision is hidden under the armpit and through that incision we can tighten up the skin. It allows people to wear sleeveless dresses with the incision hidden."

If surgery isn't for you, Heidi Powell, personal trainer for "Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition," said if you lost a lot of weight and have excess skin, sometimes you can do something about it. She showed us three easy  moves you can do at home.

"The overhead press, the upright row, the push-up. We're stimulating that muscle for growth, so we're building that muscle to reduce the appearance of the excess skin on our arms," Powell said.

She said the three exercises are big compound movements that work more than one muscle group.

"You're going to start seeing results in a couple of weeks, but don't stop cause you'll see maximum results in a month or two," Powell said.

Doctors say sometimes surgery is the only solution for people who have lost a lot of weight and have excess skin. Arm lifts are not cheap. In Arizona it will cost you anywhere from $7,000  to $9,000.