You may have seen advertisements for branded facelifts like the Lifestyle Lift. The Lifestyle Lift has been marketed heavily over the years with clever slogans and messages. The marketing messages can sound great, but if you're like most of our patients, you're smart enough not to believe everything you read online or see on an infomercial.
Still, a lot of people are asking, "how does a branded lift compare to a real facelift?" In this article, we will explore the differences between these two procedures. We'll discuss the pros and cons, so you can make a better decision about what kind of facelift might be a better fit for you.
Lifestyle Lift vs. Traditional Facelift
Regardless of the opinions you draw from this article, we recommend discussing any treatment decision with a trusted surgeon before making the final decision on which procedure to pursue. Only a board certified plastic surgeon or facial plastic surgeon will be able to make suggestions based on your unique needs.
The Traditional Facelift
A traditional facelift is used to eliminate the look of sagging, excess skin and fat, and deep folds in the mid to lower face. It is a surgery that requires the use of anesthesia, either general or local, depending on the particular needs of the patient.
An incision is made behind the hairline to avoid visibility. The skin, tissue, and muscle are separated so fat can be removed, muscle and tissue can be tightened, and excess skin can be lifted or trimmed. Stitches or sutures are used to maintain the new form during the recovery process.
The Lifestyle Lift
A Lifestyle Lift is a trademarked name of a procedure, heavily marketed to potential patients. The procedure is performed by doctors who are employees or contractors of the company that is responsible for advertising and marketing the procedure.
The doctors are heavily incentivized to perform the surgery as quickly as possible, so technique is often rushed and hurried. The advertisements show real patients who have achieved excellent results, however, if you do a little research you will find these outcomes are far from the norm.
A Lifestyle Lift is most commonly a modified version of a mini facelift. However, they are not associated with permanent, lasting results. A vast majority of patients who have undergone a Lifestyle Lift procedure report less-than-desirable results. After all, not every face is created equally, and a cookie cutter procedure is not going to produce consistent results.
For the best, and longest lasting results, you need a lift tailor-made to fit your particular muscles, skin, and facial structure.
How a Lifestyle Lift is Performed
The Lifestyle Lift involves incisions being made both in the front and back of the ear under local anesthesia.
It's performed with minimal undermining, which means, instead of reaching the tissues that need to be lifted, the doctor pulls on adjacent tissues to force-pull the target tissues into place. Excess muscle is folded and then sutured into place while the excess skin is removed.
Less than half of a traditional, full facelift is being performed, which often produces suboptimal results.
Lifestyle Lifts and Scarring
Due to minimal undermining, more tension is placed on the incisions, which must be closed tightly. When the tension builds, the skin stretches at the weakest point, which is where the incision was made.
When this happens, scars can become wider and, simply put, look horrible!
This procedure will not provide most patients with natural-looking results. Most Lifestyle Lift patients didn't realize they would have all the scars of a short-scar facelift, but only the tissue pulling of a mini-facelift. Therefore, most patients are negatively surprised by the results.
Lifestyle Lifts vs. Traditional Facelifts
Full facelifts do more than pull; they pull naturally. A qualified surgeon understands that your face, the skin and underlying tissues and muscles, needs a lift that accommodates its unique makeup.
The face's tissue and muscles move in different directions, and a skilled surgeon performs a facelift by raising each area of the face in the direction it naturally should move.
A traditional facelift restores various parts of the face. A mini-pull, such as a LifeStyle lift, does not do this.
Lifestyle Lifts vs. Mini Facelifts
All mini-lifts are not bad.
For younger people who have minimal skin looseness, a mini-facelift can restore their beauty very efficiently with smaller incisions. However, a mini-lift differs from a Lifestyle Lift in that patients are chosen very carefully and the techniques used are more careful and precise.
A true mini-lift, chosen specifically for a certain patient, is much different than a cookie-cutter branded mini-lift.
Which Kind of Facelift is Better For You?
We do our best to offer the pros and cons of each procedure and leave it up to you to draw the positive or negative conclusions. But with branded facelifts, like the Lifestyle Lift, it's important to separate the marketing messages from the actual results.
The Lifestyle Lift promised a mini-lift under local anesthetic, for a much lower price than traditional facelifts. While that promise sounded attractive, the truth is that the results did not consistently deliver on that pledge.
Today, the company has suspended operations and closed its doors. If the Lifestyle Lift had delivered on its promises, it might not be out of business today.
As with any branded procedures, the marketing message overlooks the downsides and limitations of the procedure. Brands are most interested in driving sales, not necessarily helping patients choose the best procedure for their unique needs.
In some instances, however, a branded procedure may be a good option to bring you the results you want. We recommend to always seek the counsel of a trustworthy, board certified plastic surgeon before buying into the hype or propaganda of any procedure.