London: Upper arm lifts - a surgical procedure to remove excess fat from under the arm - have soared by more than 4,000 percent in the US over last decade, with 15,000 operations performed last year, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

It is a trend fueled, in part, by sleeveless fashions for women and more focus on strong-armed celebrities.
In 2000, more than 300 women got upper arm lift procedures. Last year, more than 15,000 did.

Upper arm lifts can include liposuction or a surgical procedure known as brachioplasty, in which loose skin is removed from the back of the arms.

A brachioplasty requires an incision from the elbow to the armpit, generally on the back of the arm, leaving a visible and permanent scar.

"Women are paying more attention to their arms in general and are becoming more aware of options to treat this area," ASPS President Gregory Evans, MD said.

"For some women, the arms have always been a troublesome area and, along with proper diet and exercise, liposuction can help refine them. Others may opt for a brachioplasty when there is a fair amount of loose skin present with minimal elasticity," he said.

Doctors say there is no single reason behind the increase, though celebrities from the White House to the red carpet may be having an influence.

A recent poll conducted on behalf of ASPS found that women are paying closer attention to the arms of female celebrities.

According to the poll, women most admire the arms of first lady Michelle Obama, followed closely by Jennifer Aniston.

Actresses Jessica Biel and Demi Moore, and daytime TV talk show host Kelly Ripa also got votes for their toned arms.