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Increase in arm-lifts may be due to new procedure

New York — Cosmetic surgeons are seeing a dramatic increase in the number of requests for arm lifts, the procedure designed to correct drooping skin on the upper arms, according to ABCnews.go.com.

Between 1997 and 2005, the number of arm lifts performed in the United States increased by 533 percent. That may be because up until fairly recently, the only surgery available to remedy sagging arms left significant scarring on the arm. New technology, however, has remedied that problem.

Manhattan plastic surgeon Lawrence Reed, M.D., is one practitioner who performs these advanced arm-lift procedures. He says that after creating a small incision in the arm, all fat is removed from the arms through liposuction. Excess skin is then pulled up toward the shoulder and the wound is closed deep inside the armpit. The incision scar thus is virtually invisible after healing.

The surgery usually takes 90 minutes and costs anywhere from $8,000 to $15,000. Patients typically cannot raise their arms for at least five weeks after the surgery. However, Dr. Reed reports that six months to eight months after surgery, it is not uncommon for the arm to become even firmer and more youthful in appearance.

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