Occasionally, my facelift patients in Orlando ask about the Lifestyle Lift, the cosmetic surgery company that recently folded. Lifestyle Lift was the marketing brainchild of Kris Kent, a doctor of osteopathy and dermatologist in Troy, Michigan.
He launched the effort in 2004 as a company that provided low-cost cosmetic surgery nationwide. Centers quickly sprung up around the country, and Lifestyle Lift was marketed as a facelift ‘in about an hour.’ Infomercials and TV advertising showed remarkable results and its lower-cost option appealed to the average person.
Why did Lifestyle Lift go out of business?
Reports surfaced that doctors without plastic surgery training or board certification were recruited to perform the procedures. Patients complained they felt rushed by high-pressure sales tactics and that procedures were performed by unqualified doctors in unlicensed clinics. For many, it was the equivalent of a McDonald’s assembly line for plastic surgery. Investigative reports by CBS News suggested corporate profits were placed ahead of patient safety. Moreover, the Lifestyle Lift procedure itself had not been described in the medical literature.
Does Lifestyle Lift really work?
The Lifestyle Lift procedure was not a true facelift and many wondered how it works. It was a quick, skin-only face tightening surgery without addressing the muscle layer. The tenets of established plastic surgery (muscle tightening, hidden incisions, qualified anesthesia providers, resuscitation equipment, etc.) were not followed and negative reviews accumulated with complaints of scarring, complications, problems, and deaths.
Attorneys General investigating complaints from several states levied fines against the company for false advertising, astroturfing, and unethical business practices. Medical malpractice lawsuits as well as negative publicity took a toll with the company filing bankruptcy in 2015, leaving many unhappy patients with complaints of permanent scarring and disfigurements. Experts in the field suggested Lifestyle Lift failed due to the fact that plastic surgery does not lend itself to commoditization, franchises, or assembly lines. A senior author stated, “nothing takes the place of a solid doctor-patient relationship built on trust and transparency, which Lifestyle Lift apparently disregarded”.
How is a Lifestyle Lift different from a facelift?
Our approach to facelift surgery is consultative, educational, and informative. It starts with a 1-hour consultation with one of the top board-certified facial plastic surgeons in Orlando. During this consultation, a detailed physical examination and computer imaging are performed. Realistic expected results are shown to the patient and before and after pictures reviewed from previous patients. Goals, benefits, limitations, risks, and expectations are discussed and a fee quote and patient reference list are provided.
A second consult is scheduled to cover informed consent, prescriptions, and supplies needed for after-care. Surgery is performed in our state-licensed, nationally certified surgery center with anesthesia provided by a qualified CRNA. The doctor’s cell phone number is provided and there is close monitoring postoperatively by the RN, PA, and doctor to ensure a good outcome.
You can see one of my patient’s results below and the benefits of consulting with a facial plastic surgeon who can recommend complementary procedures such as laser skin resurfacing.
When considering facial plastic surgery in Orlando, follow the above recommendations to achieve the best outcomes. You can request a consultation with me using our online form or call my office at (407) 333-3040 to schedule an appointment.