Many of the trends were familiar. In all, the group reported, Americans underwent 1.6 million
Once again, for the seventh year in a row,
But the society chose to highlight one procedure that is less familiar: the upper arm-lift. In 2012, 15,457 patients, 98% of them women, spent a total of $61 million to have liposuction on their arms, or what's known as a brachioplasty (a surgery that involves making an incision from the armpit to the elbow, usually along the back of the arm, to remove excess skin). The number of procedures was up 4,378% since 2000, when only about 300 women opted for it, the group reported.
In a statement, the ASPS said that doctors didn't point to a single reason for the increase, but took note of poll data indicating that women "are paying closer attention to the arms of female celebrities" including
Plastic surgeons emphasized that diet and exercise should be a part of a woman's plan to tone her triceps, but that for many, getting the look they want proves impossible by those methods alone.
"We are genetically programmed to have different accumulations of fat in different areas, and for some women the arms can be a problem area," said Dr. David Reath, chair of the ASPS Public Education Committee and a surgeon in Knoxville, Tenn.
He cautioned, however, that brachioplasty often leaves a visible scar -- presenting a "trade-off" for women.
Two years ago, the industry group said there had been an increase in the number of men who got face-lifts -- though women still got the most.
Last year, statistics revealed that the "chinplant" was the fastest-growing cosmetic surgery.