The first lady, Michelle Obama, has arms that are often shown off in her fashionable wardrobe. Everything from pant suits to ball gowns feature her muscular arms that are firm but still very feminine and pretty. The question is whether or not this political fashion icon has actually encouraged others to seek out plastic surgery to get the same look.

Arm Lift Surgery

Arm lift surgery, also known as brachioplasty, is a plastic surgery to remove loose skin and excess fat found in the upper arm area. This area can become saggy with age or after losing a large amount of weight. The procedure is done under general anaesthesia, and is generally a day procedure with people returning home a few hours after the surgery is completed. The majority of people can return to work within three or four days after having brachioplasty. The arm lift procedure has been steadily growing in popularity, and has risen more than 4,000% since the turn of the century according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama first gained major publicity when she began to campaign with her husband in 2007. Her style has always turned heads as she wore a variety of different ensembles. Her casual elegance and commitment to physical fitness has sparked many trends. These trends have led to major shifts in fashions, hairstyles (the Michelle Obama bangs) and even plastic surgery. Society is constantly bombarded and affected by what they see in the media. The first lady’s upper arms and her tendency to show them has sparked a new fascination with how women in particular view their own upper arms. In a poll conducted by the ASPS, 31% of women stated they would like arms like Michelle’s.

Other Reasons for the Increase in Brachioplasty Popularity

The war on obesity is still raging, but there is a growing awareness of the problem throughout society. Many have made huge changes to their lifestyles, and have made physical fitness a priority. With this increase in awareness and increase in people losing weight comes an increased interest in how the upper arms are viewed. Additionally, plastic surgery techniques are constantly changing and improving with technological advances. In years past, the arm lift procedure was known to leave huge scars running along the length of the upper arm. Nowadays, scar management treatments such as barbed sutures, fractional lasers and silicone-gel sheeting have made scars less noticeable.

Who is a Good Candidate?

While it is clear that brachioplasty has seen a tremendous increase in popularity, it is important to note that this procedure is not appropriate for everyone. Good candidates will have a significant amount of excess skin on the upper arm area – not just a little looseness or a little bit of excess fat. It is also important to note that the scar left from the procedure will be permanent, although it will improve over time. Patients must be well informed of the expected results, be extremely motivated and know what they are getting into before having this procedure done.

It is clear that Michelle Obama’s arms and fashion sense have sparked a noticeable rise in this procedure’s popularity. Her commitment to physical fitness is obvious, and has given her arms that many have become envious of.

Above Image Source: YouTube/ASPSPlasticSurgery


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Dr. Jeffrey Spiegel

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Dr. Onir L. Spiegel

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Dr. Jacob Tower

A board-certified specialist in facial plastic surgery, Dr. Jacob Tower brings a thoughtful approach and an artistic eye to New England’s premier plastic surgery practice, The Spiegel Center in Newton, Massachusetts. In addition to being an in-demand surgeon, Dr. Tower is an assistant professor at the Boston University School of Medicine, a sought-after lecturer, and an expert in facial plastic surgery.

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