Liftestyle Lift is a medical procedure pitched by infomercial and website that promises to make you look years younger. They claim over 200,000 people have chosen Lifestyle Lift and that it’s affordable for everyone. But let’s take a closer look at this company and it’s claims, shall we?
What Is Lifestyle Lift
It’s pretty vague as to what a Lifestyle Lift actually is. The website says each procedure is different according to the patient. They emphasize that you will be safer than traditional plastic surgery because patients undergoing a Lifestyle Lift aren’t put to sleep by anesthesia. (With the recent death of Joan Rivers, this can be a concern to some older people.)
According to Stephen Prendiville, MD “There is no aspect of a Lifestyle Lift (that has been published in the literature), which distinguishes it as unique…” Dr. Prenderville goes on to say Lifestyle Lift appears to be using a speedy short flap facelift procedure sold by heavy marketing.
“Most surgeons have some variability in the way they perform facelifts… However… a one hour procedure is not likely to produce substantial and lasting results,” he concludes.
The Story Behind Lifestyle Lift
Lifestyle Lift was created and trademarked by Dr. David Kent in 2001. According to Livestrong.com, Dr. Kent invented the procedure when performing a mini facelift on a 50-year-old patient who was afraid of traditional surgery. Since this time, the Lifestyle Lift franchise has grown to more than 100 physicians around the U.S.
The Lifestyle Lift Pitch
Lifestyle Lift relies on a slick marketing campaign to draw in potential customers. Their spokesperson is Debbie Boone, an actress popular with an older generation who might be thinking about a facelift. The informercial shows a woman who says she’s 71 and the before and after pictures show a dramatic decrease in wrinkles.
Since they aren’t selling something that can be shipped or downloaded, their method is offering a so-called Free Information Kit that promises a facial analysis, $250 instant savings and a free skin care treatment worth $150.
All they ask for is your email and phone number. The rest of the selling is done at the Lifestyle Lift clinic when you go in for the appointment.
Lifestyle Lift Controversies
There have been many controversies during the ten plus years Lifestyle Lift has been in operation. These include:
- In 2009, they were fined $300,000 by the State of New York for “Astroturfing” – plastering websites with phony reviews – about Lifestyle Lift. The company promised they would stop doing this.
- After a 3-year review by the Florida Attorney’s office, Lifestyle Lift was cleared of any deceptive advertising practices; however, the company agreed to change its national marketing.
- A San Francisco area doctor was put on probation after doing a Lifestyle Lift on an 83-year-old man.
- A woman in Florida died in Florida after undergoing the procedure.
The Lifestyle Lift Fine Print
While Lifestyle Lift has complied with New York and Florida truth-in-advertising issues, we feel we should point out the fine print on Lifestyle Lift, which may not be noticed in the infomercial or upon first glance of the website. These include the following statements (and our interpretation):
- Lifestyle Lift medical procedures involve a certain amount of risk. (How much, they don’t specify.)
- Patients depicted are compensated. (Meaning they get money to appear in the infomercial.)
- Photos are from various doctors and for illustrative purposes only. (These are not actual photos from Lifestyle Lift patients.)
- Recovery time and results will vary by patient. (You may not look as great as they do.)
- Lifestyle Lift physicians are Board-Certified or eligible. (The person that performs this procedure may not be certified to do so.)
- You have the right to cancel payments within 72 hours of responding to the advertisement. (But it seems like many of these payments will occur later, depending when your appointment is with the doctor.)
What The Patients Are Saying
Lifestyle Lift appears to have a very mixed reputation. On the RealSelf website, which claims to be the largest online community of people discussing plastic surgery and other elective procedures, Lifestyle Lift has a 61% rating which puts it in the “worth it” category.
People that gush about Lifestyle Lift seem to have spent at least $6,000 and many say they are “thrilled” with the results. A 70-year-old woman exclaims she got rid of her “turkey neck.”
The negative reviews, however, strike a very different tone. “I now have permanent nerve damage (numbness) around my face edges and up into my hair line,” reads one woman who spent over $13,000. Another claims it was not worth the $6,000 she spent as the results did not last and the procedure and recovery was very painful.
On the Consumer Affairs website, the terrible experiences people have had with Lifestyle Lift greatly outnumber the positive ones. Some say they were pressured into procedures they didn’t want and often end up paying many thousands of dollars more. They say the Lifestyle Lift was painful and either didn’t work or last as long as promised. Most give it 1-star out of 5.
Bottom Line: Is Lifestyle Lift a Scam?
If you are considering cosmetic surgery with Lifestyle Lift we think you should remember:
- This is a franchise, not a specific doctor.
- When you go for your “free” facial analysis, they will attempt to sell you on surgical procedures.
- The prices of these procedures seem to vary widely, from $6,000 to $13,000 or more.
- The person that does your Lifestyle Lift may not be a Board-Certified plastic surgeon.
- Results are not guaranteed.
Finally, while we respect the right of an individual to have any kind of cosmetic surgery they want, remember that aging is a natural process – everybody grows old! Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and only skin deep.
PS – We love you just the way you are.
Let us know your experience with Lifestyle Lift below!