Michelle Obama's triceps spur 4,400 percent increase in upper arm plastic surgery

First lady Michelle Obama’s toned triceps have spurred an almost 4,400 percent increase in upper arm plastic surgery according to a report released by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) on Monday.

It’s latest release of plastic surgery statistics from 2012 show an marked uptick in the number of people undergoing the procedure.

Breast augmentation remains the most popular cosmetic enhancement, with 286,000 patients opting for the surgery last year. Yet, doctors noticed that upper arm reshaping was sought at a rate that increased exponentially.

“In 2012, 15,457 patients, 98% of them women, spent a total of $61 million to have liposuction on their arms, or what’s known as a brachioplasty (a surgery that involves making an incision from the armpit to the elbow, usually along the back of the arm, to remove excess skin),” reports the Los Angeles Times. “The number of procedures was up 4,378% since 2000, when only about 300 women opted for it, the group reported.”

Poll data shows that the influence of celebrities with highly-toned arms is related to this huge growth, ASPS also stated.

These figures show first lady Michelle Obama has the most admired arms of all women in the limelight. Other female luminaries people want to emulate through brachioplasty include Kelly Ripa and Jennifer Aniston.

Still, doctors emphasize that diet and exercise are important to consider when evaluating options for creating firmer upper arms. Toning triceps through exercise combined with weight loss to reveal muscle definition can help many women get the “Michelle Obama” look they may be seeking.

Surgery might be desirable if one’s genetics makes these less invasive methods ineffective. Some women cannot create that sculpted look because their bodies naturally store fat in a way that renders achieving it impossible.

“They’ve tried to lift weights and can’t get that toned appearance. The liposuction gives them contour so when they work out, they look toned’’ Dr. Scot Glasberg, an ASPS vice president, told the New York Post.

The trade off? Brachioplasty can leave a visible scar.

While the cost of the procedure varies by region, the fast track to “Michelle Obama arms” can cost as much as $12,000.

Follow Alexis Garrett Stodghill on Twitter at @lexisb.