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Arm lift procedures soar in popularity

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WAYZATA, Minn. (KMSP) -

When it comes to plastic surgery, arms are getting a lot more attention lately. In fact, the demand for "arm lift" procedures has soared over 4,000 percent in the past 12 years.

The procedure can either involve skin removal or liposuction -- sometimes both, and business appears to be booming. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgery, about 300 arm lifts were performed nationwide in 2000. Last year, more than 15,000 were done.

Dr. Peter Vogt, at Wayzata Plastic Surgery, says interest is up because the surgery itself has improved, leaving smaller scars.

"Surgeons have become more comfortable with this procedure," he said.

Vogt said he believes that as people lose large amounts of weight and find themselves left with excess skin, the arm lift becomes more appealing -- especially as tank-top weather moves in.

"The ideal patient is one who has an awful lot of extra skin and will put up with a scar on the inner part of the arm," said Vogt.

Personal trainer Ali Holman recommends trying toning first.

"I would say before you head to surgery, first head to the gym. Do body weight exercises -- lift your own body weight," she urged.

While she does have clients who have lost large amounts of weight and do have loose skin left behind, she urges them to wait a year before going under the knife.

"Your skin isn't going to immediately shrink back to conform to your new body," she said. "It takes some time for our bodies to adapt."

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