Summary: Despite the fact that she’s an inspiration to many women, it’s been reported that Jennifer Aniston might be thinking about an arm lift. She’s not alone. Between the year 2000 and 2012, arm lifts have rising by an astounding amount. They’re more popular than ever, but there are some things you should think about before deciding if it’s right for you.

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Insert Friends Pun Here

Back in May, Elle reported that Jennifer Aniston was thinking about getting an arm lift. This was somewhat surprising, given her relatively young age for the procedure and her excellent arm tone. According to the story, Aniston also went so far as to schedule consultations with her plastic surgeons in the middle of the night, so as to avoid the prying eye of the paparazzi.

Look, what Jennifer Aniston does with her arms is her business. But it’s worth bringing up because she’s not alone. Arm lift surgery, known among professional circles as brachioplasty and among uncharitable circles as a “bat wing lift,” has been steadily—if not exponentially—rising in popularity since the turn of the century.

She’s Not Alone

Let’s look at the numbers. In 2012 alone, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, there were 15,457 arm lift procedures performed. Compare that to only 338—in total—performed during the year 2000. Even over 12 years, and taking into account the proliferation of low-cost techniques and so on, that’s a huge increase—an amazing increase.

The operation itself is designed to eliminate hanging excess skin around the upper arms. Under today’s hyper-skinny ideal of beauty, this excess skin can be seen as unattractive, and cause all sorts of self-conscious behavior. Maybe you don’t wear short sleeves even in the summer because you’re worried people will judge your arms. You’re not alone. According to Houston area plastic surgeon Dr. Charles G. Polsen, an arm lift is designed give you smoother, more toned arms. But it’s not a perfect solution. It can leave some minor scarring that takes a while to recede.

Full Circle

It’s difficult to pin down one specific cause of this increase. Of course, coining terms such as “bat wing” to describe what is a naturally occurring element of aging and therefore creating a whole new set of insecurities, probably doesn’t help. In fact, it’s ironic that, according to a Harris Interactive poll asking women whose arms they would like to emulate, 29% of respondents said they’d like to have arms like, you guessed it, Jennifer Aniston.

That said, this procedure is still an excellent solution to those who are bothered by excess skin hanging under their arms. If you want to wear short sleeves without thinking about your arms next summer, contact your plastic surgeon today.