Is The Lifestyle Lift A Legitimate Procedure?

Q: Dr. Eppley, can you tell based on your extensive experience as a plastic surgeon what is the deal with the Lifestyle Lift? I see their commercials all the time and it just sounds too good to be true. They say nothing about that it is surgery but no cream or laser can produce those kind of results. Is it legitimate or a scam?

A: The Lifestyle Lift is both a tradename and a company that sells a form of a facelift surgery. It is a company that spends a lot of money every year to generate business for its franchisees so to speak. Its most popular TV ad is the one that features Debbie Boone who is the daughter of Pat Boone, a teen idol of many years ago and is still alive. (I just saw him on an infomercial for a whirlpool tub for seniors just this morning)

Like anything that is highly marketed, it is going to attract its share of detractors. While I haven’t done an official poll, I feel confident to say the whole Lifestyle Lift concept is probably not thought of highly by many board-certified plastic surgeons…at the very least for competitive reasons. And there is no question the company has had its share of legal entanglements brought on by a history of aggressive marketing practices.

But all the political and emotional issues aside, the company promotes its facial rejuvenation techniques through licensed physicians who enroll to be a provider in a certain geographic territory. It is surgery and it is a form of a limited facelift. Many of the patients seen in ads clearly have had other procedures done than just the Lifestyle Lift as many facelift patients are prone to need and do.

What turns off most board-certified plastic surgeons is that the Lifestyle Lift is marketed as a new and innovative procedure (I believe ‘break through medical procedure’ is what the ads say) which it is not by any plastic surgery standards. The most novel feature of it is the name as such facelift techniques date back decades in time. Doing the procedure awake and having it done in ‘just over an hour’ is obviously very appealing to patients but that does not necessarily convey that it is a superior surgical result or one that any sustained longevity. Since no scientific study has ever been published on the Lifestyle Lift  in terms of its technique or patient outcomes in any professional plastic surgery journal or presented at any plastic surgery meeting, it is easy to understand why many board-certified plastic surgeons are taken back by its claims in its ads.

A prospective patient should view the Lifestyle Lift like having any other consultation from a plastic surgeon. Take in the information, do your research and make your own educated decision about whether it is right for you.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana