Lifestyle and Lifts in Plastic Surgery

Lifestyle and Lifts in Plastic Surgery
The other day I received a letter from the attorneys representing the “Lifestyle Lift” company telling me that I was infringing on their trademark, since my name pops up when someone types in “Lifestyle Lift,” and that I am not one of their plastic surgery “providers.”

The “Lifestyle Lift” company was set up in 2006 by non-plastic surgeons (I think the owner is an ear, nose and throat doctor) and promoted the pulling of the facial skin and muscles through small incisions in attempting to provide a facelift. This is what we plastic surgeons call a jowl lift.  The company has recruited doctors, not always surgeons, let alone plastic surgeons, to perform these procedures. The procedure is quick; the patient is charged $3000-$8000 for the surgery and it lasts a year. One survey of patients I saw gave a dissatisfaction rate of 80%!

This is an example of how mass marketing has brought a surgical procedure, and for that matter other proprietary “named” procedures (e.g., “Quick Lift”), to the forefront. Large amounts of advertising dollars entice an unsuspecting and gullible public for a fleecing. The company then pays off its salaried provider. The patient has in effect become a commodity. Check out this Wikipedia entry:en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lifestyle_Lift

So why should I care? Because patients think they are having plastic surgery and instead are undergoing procedures of questionable to no efficacy by providers with little to no experience, giving my profession a bad name and negatively affecting the public’s views on cosmetic surgery.

I have mentioned the “Lifestyle Lift” in my others writings, but only to disparage the way the procedure is marketed. All plastic surgeons perform a variety of surgical procedures for the improvement of the face. I myself perform a full facelift, which includes a neck and jowl lift in addition to a cheek lift, a mini facelift (neck and jowl lift alone), a “lunch hour lift”—a jowl lift alone—and one that is essentially what the Lifestyle Lift company is selling. The big difference is that I make an educated and experienced recommendation for my patients, telling them why I would perform one surgery over the other, rather than trying to sell a “Lifetsyle Lift” on all patients who enter, either leaving them dissatisfied or tricking them into having more procedures performed than what they originally wanted. I guess it’s the lack of ethics of it all that I don’t like. That is just not the style I want to lift in my life.

Washington DC, Northern Virginia, Maryland