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What can you tell me about the Lifestyle Lift? Do you do these?

It seems the Lifestyle Lift has become very popular and we get a lot of questions about this procedure. I can’t tell you much about this procedure specifically. The reason is that this is a proprietary surgical procedure. This means that the doctor who developed it, David Kent, D. O., an otolaryngologist, has registered the Lifestyle Lift as a trademark and the only way a physician can learn details about it is to pay him for the privilege. It costs several thousand dollars to take his course and learn how to perform the Lifestyle Lift. However, as a plastic surgeon with 21 years of experience I can tell you some things based on having seen patients who have had this procedure done. As a plastic surgeon, I perform facelifts frequently. I am familiar with the different types of facelifts and variations of this procedure, I know the anatomy well, and the changes that occur with aging which a facelift is intended to correct. I also know the limitations of the procedure.  

The Lifestyle Lift is a variation on a mini-facelift. Mini facelifts differ from full facelifts in that there is much less cutting and releasing of the skin from the underlying muscles. Less skin is removed. The surgery takes less time, carries fewer risks, and recovery is quicker. All good, right? The problem is that the results are less too. The surgeon who trained me, Dr. D. Ralph Millard, Jr., who performed many thousands of facelifts in his 40+ year career said it best: “Mini procedures give mini results”.  I think this is as true today as when I trained over 20 years ago.

The Lifestyle Lift brochures and web site are very impressive and show results that border on the unbelievable. It has been my experience that when something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Looking at the Lifestyle Lift a little more closely there are some things that just don’t sound right. On the one hand, the procedure promises incredible results with an hour of surgery. This is pushing things even for a mini-facelift. The brochures and web site, however, also state that many of the patients underwent an additonal “neck firming” procedure. What was that? The brochures and ads don’t say. I can tell you from some former Lifestyle Lift patients that their surgery took a lot longer than an hour  and more than a week to recover from. None of the results that I have seen have been remotely as impressive as what I see on the brochures and several patients were very unhappy with their experience as the doctor did not spend much time with or explain the procedure well, and they did not get the results promised.

I seriously question the accuracy of the claims and results boasted by the Lifestyle Lift. I just know too much about facial surgery to believe that they can deliver these results as promised. One telling incident occurred in New York State where the Lifestyle Lift company was fined $300,000 for false and misleading use of the internet. It seems that employees of the Lifestyle Lift were passing themselves off as satisfied patients on the internet in order to lure prospective patients. New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo called the company’s attempts to lure patients “devious, manipulative, and illegal”. If you know how infrequently false advertising charges are pursued, it gives you an idea how egregious this action of the Lifestyle Lift company was. The situation is ironic when you read the Lifestyle Lift Code of Internet Conduct and Assurance on their website.

The Lifestyle Lift boasts that all of its surgeons are “board certified”. That may well be true, but board certified in what? Any physician with an MD or a DO degree can lay claim to the title of facial plastic surgeon or plastic surgeon if they wish. When surgery is done in an office setting, as the Lifestyle Lift is, there is no law that prohibits any physician, even non-surgeons from performing surgery in their own facility.

We have seen many procedures come and go over the years and are always cautious about new procedures that promise amazing results with minimal effort. Remember the non-surgical facelift using barbed threads, the Feather Lift? Where is that today? Gone, because not only did it not work. There were too many patients with complications and visible bands under their skin from the threads. We predicted this at the beginning and refused to jump on that bandwagon. Remember laser facelifts and eye lifts? Also ineffective and abandoned after an initial flurry of interest.

There are other proprietary mini-facelifts out there. One that comes to mind is the Quick Lift. The advertising for this one is very similar to the Lifestyle Lift. There are probably some other procedures out there now whose names I donÂ’t know. If you want to look into something like this for yourself, go ahead, but go in with your eyes wide open and ask a lot of questions. By all means get a second opinion from a board certified plastic surgeon who is not affiliated with the Lifestyle Lift. Beware of grandiose claims of incredible results with minimal surgery.

Two very important things to consider in approaching any cosmetic surgery. One is to be sure that the facility where your surgery will be done is accredited by an organization approved to certify ambulatory surgery facilities. These include the American Association for the Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities (AAASF), Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC), and the Joint Commission. Beware of bogus certifications. The second thing is to ask if your surgeon has privileges to perform the same procedures in a hospital that he or she performs in their office. Hospitals take great care to ensure that their doctors are properly trained and certified to be doing the operations they perform. Doctors are free to do pretty much whatever they wish in their office.

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Tavares, FL
West of Waterman Hospital, just off US 441

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