Many women can't stand the extra flab under their arms. And what do you do when diet and exercise just aren't enough?
Nancy Ahearn isn't shy about showing off her arms anymore. She lost 30 pounds through diet and exercise. But one part of her body wouldn't tone up. "I had loose skin hanging from my arms. I was very self-conscious," Ahearn said.
So the 64-year-old decided to have a cosmetic procedure called a brachioplasty, or "upper arm lift."
"In many people there is excess skin and fat. Basically, an upper arm lift is done to eliminate the excess and return the arm to that normal contour," said Dr. Al Aly with the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons says upper arm lifts in women have shot up more than 4-thousand percent over the last decade. A recent poll from the group found many women admire the arms of celebrities like Michelle Obama and Jennifer Aniston. About 15,000 women had the procedure last year. It generally takes 10 to 14 days after an arm lift surgery for a patient to get back to normal daily activities. Doctors recommend patients wait up to two months before working out their arms.
But Dr. Aly says there are drawbacks and patients need to weigh the pros and cons. "Trading a scar for contour, and that is just the bottom, bottom line," he said. "There is no way you can get rid of all that excess skin without cutting it out."
Nancy Ahearn knows it could take up to two years for her scars to fade a little. "I'd rather have the scar than all the flab that was here," she said.
She paid nearly $6,000 for her procedure and says it was worth every penny.
Teresa Garcia, CBS News
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