More women go under the knife for 'bingo wings'
The fashion for sleeveless dresses combined with admiration for strong-armed celebrities such as Michelle Obama has fuelled demands for a new type of plastic surgery.
In the US, upper arm lifts – a surgical procedure to remove excess fat from under the arm – have soared by more than 4,000 per cent in a decade, with 15,000 operations performed last year, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).
British experts said demand for surgical treatment for so-called "bingo wings" was still low in the UK but could rise. Fashions that start in the US, including in cosmetic surgery, soon find their way to the UK.
In the US the numbers undergoing the surgery have risen from 300 in 2000 to over 15,000 in 2012, 98 per cent of whom were women. And mostly middle-aged women.
A recent US poll conducted for the ASPS found the toned arms that women most admired belonged to the First Lady, followed by actresses Jennifer Aniston, pictured, Jessica Biel and Demi Moore.
For patients with excess fat on their arms and the skin is still tight, liposuction to remove the fat may be all that's needed.
For those who've lost weight and have loose skin, a brachioplasty may be necessary. This involves making an incision from the elbow to the armpit in order to remove fat and skin. The procedure leaves a scar.
Fazel Fatah, a cosmetic surgeon in Birmingham and former president of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, said: "With the increase in people trying to lose weight, a lot are left with bingo wings. In summer, more become conscious of that as a deformity and want to do something about it."