How is a Lifestyle Lift Different from a Traditional Face Lift?

I want to know the difference btw lifestyle lift and facelift surgery. Is the recovery the same? Do the results last the same? Is the pain the same? I want to do the most efficient and lasting procedure. Thanks.

Doctor Answers 25

Not a technique--- a marketing campaign

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LifeStyle Lifts are full facelift incision minilifts, performed through a company which has licensed the name. Doctors sign onto the service and give a percentage of their fee to the company for performing their advertising. The advertisements show pictures of patients who have achieved excellent results. From the patients I have seen who have had LSL procedures, these results are not at all typical. Judging from the posts on this website, the results were unsatisfactory to a number of patients. Why are so many patients unhappy?

The devil is in the details.

When a facelift is performed with minimal undermining (as with a LSL), the skin does not advance properly. You haven't reached the tissues to pull on them. Instead, you are pulling on adjacent tissues, and the force to the target tissues (i.e. loose skin of the jowl area) is reduced. Surgically speaking, you're not there yet. Established facelift surgeons simply do not stop at this point, because the surgery is not done, and they know their patients would not be happy with the jowls still being there. It is difficult enough with deep facelift techniques to achieve significant improvement, let alone if you only do half the surgery. I suspect that many LSL patients are unhappy because they expected full facelift results from a minimal procedure, and it did not happen.

Why do so many patients complain of unsatisfactory scarring with the LSL?

In an LSL, minimal undermining is performed. In order to tighten the tissues beyond where the cuts are made, more tension must be placed on the incisions, and the incisions are closed tightly. When incisions are closed tightly, the skin, a biologic material "gives way". It stretches at the weakest point, the incision. The scars can become wide and unsightly. The ear can develop a deformed, scarred appearance. Did LSL patients realize they would have all the incisions of a facelift but only minimal pulling? You can see by the posts on this website that many did not.

Are all minilifts bad?

No. Many patients benefit from a mini-facelift, especially women who are young and have minimal looseness. However these mini-lifts require even more skill and finesse than a traditional facelift. Why? Because you are creating an incision in a young person's face. The scars MUST look good to justify the incisions. Every responsible doctor wants to leave his patient with minimal evidence of plastic surgery, and a nice before-after result.

What about the dangerous general anesthetic?

Any procedure, including mini-lifts and LSL procedures can be performed under local anesthesia. Any doctor can perform a procedure under local anesthesia. Nobody has a corner on the market on an $8 bottle of lidocaine. Local anesthesia is not always pleasant, as the posts indicate. Under local anesthesia, surgery is performed on you while you are awake. You feel the needles. You feel the pulling. You experience pain. Many patients feel anxious. Many patients do not want to experience this. Modern superlight anesthetics, when performed by a board certified anesthesiologist in a hospital or accredited outpatient surgery center, in a patient who has been medically cleared, have an enormously high safety profile. Patients should make decisions in an informed fashion of what the alternative are, not avoid general anesthetic because it is unsafe.

Is LSL state of the art?

No. Modern facelifts performed by skilled surgeons do not just pull. They pull smart. They pull in different directions because the face is complex and not unidimensional. They adjust the SMAS layer, restoring fullness of the cheekbones, diminishing unwanted volume in the jowls. They restore volume in other parts of the face. They rejuvenate the mouth, the corners of the mouth, the eye area, the cheek area, the brow when needed.

I am not worried about the patients who reach this website. They are informed consumers and intelligent enough to do their research and make smart choices. I am worried about patients who never reach this website because they saw an ad, a low price and never looked back.


Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 188 reviews

Lifestyle Lift vs. Traditional Facelift - watcg videos to learn how to find the right plastic surgeon

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Buyer beware: a number of ‘limited incision’ and ‘quick recovery’ facelift procedures are currently marketed to patients with names like “The Quicklift”, “The Lifestyle Lift”, “The Weekend Facelift”, “The S Lift”, “The MACS Lift”, etc. As with most things in life, if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. In my opinion, the results of surgery are in direct proportion to the time and effort that the surgeon has put into the procedure. Most of the procedures I have listed above cut corners to arrive at a shorter surgical time and quicker recovery (which, by the way, isn’t always the case), and most of them undertreat or do not at all improve the neck. Additionally, ‘cutting corners’ in the neck almost always leads to distortion of the neck area skin, which often is quite readily apparent in ‘before and after’ images of these procedures with gimmicky names. Look for abnormal and unnatural-appearing skin tension lines in the lateral neck as well as below and behind the ears. I see a large number of patients who are interested in improving poor neck definition and/or loose neck skin only, but who do not want or need a full facelift. Many of these patients are in their 30s and 40s and find that their neck is their only major facial aging issue. However, I will also perform a necklift only for many patients in their 50s and 60s who do not want to change their upper facial appearance and who feel that it is primarily their neck makes them look older or ‘matronly’.

These patients are particularly bothered by the appearance of their neck in profile, where the ideal sharp transition between jawline and neck has gradually faded and in some cases has completely disappeared. Even in the absence of other signs of facial aging, a poorly-defined or sagging neck can add years to a patients overall facial appearance. When performed expertly and with great attention to detail, a necklift surgery can dramatically restore a natural and youthful neck profile, with no outward evidence that surgery has been performed. The adjective that immediately comes to mind when I review ‘before and after’ images of my necklift patients is elegant – for restoring a youthful neck contour truly makes the patient appear not just younger but also refined and elegant.

Necklift surgery can consist of a variety of surgical techniques that are carefully selected to meet each individual patient’s particular needs. It is therefore important to select a qualified physician with a great deal of experience in numerous necklift procedures. In younger patients with good skin tone, submandibular liposuction alone may produce a dramatic improvement. For some patients with good skin tone but poor definition at the angle of the neck, I add a suture-suspension necklift to sharpen the angle between the jawline and neck. This procedure is minimally invasive, produces no easily visible incisions, and has a very quick recovery. It will not, however, improve the situation if a true excess of skin is present.

Patients with more advanced aging changes in the neck generally require tightening of their neck skin as well. The neck is the one area in facial rejuvenation where a tighter and more toned surgical result looks natural and aesthetically ideal (as opposed to the face where ‘tight’ and ‘tighter’ just looks like surgery). Neck skin removal is accomplished through incisions around the ears which can be extended a short distance into the scalp if necessary. If the incisions are created and closed correctly and without undue tension, a very natural looking result can be obtained with no obvious signs that a necklift has been performed. A great deal of experience and expertise is required to avoid distortion of the ear and surrounding skin.

Producing a level and youthful contour below the jawline often requires treatment of the soft tissues that are deep to the subcutaneous fat layer. Through a small, hidden incision below the chin the subcutaneous fat layer is thinned, delineating the anatomy of the platysma muscles which form the two parallel anterior neck ‘bands’ in many patients as early as their forties. The anterior borders of the platysma muscle can be sutured together in the midline of the neck, permanently eliminating the platysma bands and creating a sling effect which lifts and supports the neck soft tissues. This procedure is called a ‘platysmaplasty’. In some patients a prominent fat pad exists deep to the medial border of the platysma muscles which cannot be reduced by liposuction, and if necessary it is directly reduced prior to platysmaplasty to further improve the submandibular contour.

As the jawline and neck are immediately adjacent, patients with jawline aging issues such as jowls can have those issues addressed at the same time as a necklift. The skin of the jawline can be elevated in continuity with the neck skin to restore a smooth jawline contour. For many patients I combine this with structural fat grafting of hollow areas and conservative liposuction of excessively full areas to produce a jawline contour that is as smooth and youthful as possible.

Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 123 reviews

A Facelift versus a Lifestyle lift

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A facelift, is designed to correct the jawline, neckline and jowls, is usually quite durable and is expected to last around 10 years or so.

Many patients are concerned about a "full" or "traditional" facelift because they fear the anesthesia, recovery time, the incisions, the cost, or having an unnatural or pulled appearance. Here are some thoughts to consider:

Traditional facelift incisions, when performed properly, are very well hidden and very difficult to find once healed. In general, patients need about 7-10 days or so before they are ready to get back into their normal routine, and about 14 days for the bruising to resolve (some folks need less time, others a few more days).

The cost of a traditional facelift may be a bit more, but it is also a more durable procedure and will correct the anatomic signs of aging by not only addressing skin but the underling tissues as well.

The results of a facelift are as much about the surgeon as the technique, so seek out the credentials, training and before and after results of your surgeon prior to committing to a procedure

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Lifestyle Lift is a SMAS Plication Facelift

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I agree that all the terminology and marketing names surrounding Facelifts these days is very confusing - for Patients and Physicians alike!

Having performed the Lifestyle Lift in the past as well as all hundreds of "traditional" Facelifts I think it is important to clarify all the terms so Patients can fully understand the procedures for what they technically are and not what the marketing wants you to believe they are.

Some key terms: Plication means the SMAS is folded onto itself and stitched in place in a higher location. SMASectomy means that a portion of the SMAS is cut out and then the cut ends are sutured together. Cranial Suspension means that a purse-string or loop suture is used to suspend a large area of the SMAS by anchoring it to the underlying bone.

Mini-Lifts: these facelifts employ minimal incisions and the underlying SMAS/Muscle may or may not be tightened. Typically indicated for patients with mild/early signs of aging, those undergoing a "touchup" or second facelift and those who have very specific concerns. Recovery is 5-10 days.

S-Lift: this facelift features an incision that goes from the front of the ear to just behind the earlobe - hence the name as the incision resembles a "lazy S". The underlying SMAS/Muscle is tightened either via plication or SMASectomy. May be a primary or secondary procedure in patients with mild to moderate aging signs. Recovery is 5-10days.

Lifestyle Lift: the incision starts at the front of the ear and goes all the way around the back of the ear and may extend into the hairline. The SMAS/Muscle layer is plicated only. Is a primary facelift procedure suited for patients with mild to mild/moderate signs of aging. Recovery is 7 days-2 weeks.(sorry but you will not go back to work the next day!)

Short Scar Facelfit/MACS: minimal access cranial suspension that features an incision along the front of the ear ending at the earlobe. No incision is made behind the ear. The SMAS/Muscle layer is elevated vertically and is very securely suspended to the strong tissues covering the cranial bones in front of the ear. Indicated for mild to moderate signs of aging and in experienced hands can be extended or combined with necklift to address moderate-severe signs of aging. Recovery is 1-2 weeks.

"Traditional Facelift": the incisions begin in the hairline above the ear and follow the curves of the ear around to the back of the ear. May or may not extend into hairline. The SMAS/Muscle layer is always addressed either by plication or SMASectomy or even both. May be used for mild to moderate severe signs of aging. Recovery is 10-14 days.

Deep Plane/Composite Facelift: has features similar to the above but also in specific areas the SMAS/Muscle layer is lifted up off the Facial bones and moved as a whole unit. Addresses moderate to moderate/advanced signs of aging. Recovery is 2-3 weeks.

As far as how log the procedures last, as a general rule the deeper the dissection the longer the results: Deep Plane>Cranial Suspension>SMASectomy>Plication. Other factors like inherent anatomy, genetics and smoking/sun exposure do factor in as well.

The best option for you is best arrived at in consultation with an experienced and Board certified Surgeon who is comfortable offering and performing the procedures appropriate for you based on your goals, health and anatomy.

Good Luck, Dr. J

Kamran Jafri, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon

Lifestyle Lift is a franchised procedure often done by non surgeons

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Lifestyle Lift is a business model franchised to physicians.  Unfortunately, the company does not make its procedure understood to surgeons who are not part of the franchise, so it is difficult to know exactly what the surgery entails.  We do know that very few, if any surgeons certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery do this procedure. The Lifestyle procedure is heavily marketed to the public, but you should know that the attorney general of New York State sued the Lifestyle Lift for fraudulent advertising and won.  Lifestyle LIft advertises a facelift in just one hour.  Most plastic surgeons agree that an effective and long lasting facelift usually requires more time, even when done by very experienced facelift surgeons.  If it sounds too good to be true it probably is.  Make sure your facial surgery is done by a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.

Lifestyle Lift - Amazing Procedure or Amazing Marketing?

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A "Lifestyle Lift" is essentially a heavily marked mini-lift procedure. The company, "Lifestyle Lift", advertises (via infomercials, and other media) and sells a procedure that is touted to deliver a dramatic result with a one hour procedure, without the need for "potentially dangerous anesthetics".

The concept that is conveyed in this marketing is that this procedure is equally effective regardless of the surgeon doing it. A patient must uses their sense of intuition and judgement to determine if this is likely to be the case.

The technique of mini-lift surgery is certainly not new or revolutionary, but the nature and scale of the advertising is. I would caution prospective patients to analyse the marketing information closely, talk to patients who have had the procedure, obtain second opinions from welll qualified surgeons in their area, and read opinions on websites such as this prior to signing up.

A lifestyle lift is another name for a mini lift and...

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A lifestyle lift is another name for a mini lift and will give mini results.
The traditional (comprehensive) face/neck lift is a full facial rejuvenation involving the cheeks, jowls, neck fat, and anterior platysmal bands. The comprehensive face/neck lift is a three-hour operation that tightens muscles in the face, the front, and back portion of the neck while removing fat both above and below the platysmal muscle in the neck. This is what we perform in our office/ surgery Center practice
A comprehensive full face/neck lift is not done in a lunchtime, one-hour mini lift surgery.
 For many examples, please see the link below to our facelift photo Gallery

Facelift or lifestyle lift - what's the difference?

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A lifestyle lift allows a patient to have the complications of a standard facelift without the long-term benefit.

Essentially, a lifestyle lift is a minimal scar, skin-only facelift.  It's a 100 year old procedure that has been resurrected thanks to a good marketing campaign on behalf of the company which has licensed it.  It relies on the surgeon doing very little "surgery" and lifting a small amount of skin, removing a little, and using the remaining skin to pull - literally - the wrinkles out of the face.  It may give a good initial result, but with time, tension causes the scars to widen and the result to quickly disappear (within a year or 2).

Contrast this with a traditional facelift.  Tension is placed on the facial muscles and connective tissue which is designed to tolerate these forces.  The skin, essentially, "comes along for the ride".  Wrinkles and bags are removed as a result of the underlying tissue being repositioned correctly, not because the skin is pulled tight.  This results in a more natural look with scars that are (usually) barely noticeable.  Results with a traditional facelift can be expected to last anywhere from 10-15 years or more.  

A traditional facelift takes longer to perform and is more expensive, but, in my opinion, is well worth it.  See a board-certified plastic surgeon in your area who specializes in facial surgery to help explain things in more detail.

I hope this helps.


Lifestyle lift vs. facelift

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The lifestyle lift is a trademarked name for the routine mini-facelift performed by any plastic surgeon.  Mini-facelifts address mild jowling and neck sag and last 3-5 years depending on many factors.  The Lifestyle lift is performed under local anesthesia while the patient is awake in an hour.  In my practice, I have seen many patients get a lifestyle lift when they should've had a facelift.  A facelift addresses more than mild jowling and neck sag and usually lasts 7-10 years. 

Lifestyle Lift -- The Inside Scoop

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There is a great deal of confusion about Lifestyle Lift, it’s origins, and what they do. I have been a surgeon with Lifestyle Lift for over five years, and hope that I can clear up some of the confusion.First, the surgeons at Lifestyle Lift are all employees of the company. They are not independent contractors or owners, and they don’t pay a bounty to the company. The only surgeon who is an owner is Dr. David Kent, the founder. Some of the surgeons are part-time employees, and have their own practices separate from Lifestyle Lift, but every surgeon signs an employment contract as an employee.Secondly, all Lifestyle Lift surgeons are Board Certified. There are several specialties that are certified by the American Board of Medical Specialties as being qualified to perform facial plastic surgery, and these are the only specialists that are accepted to work at Lifestyle Lift. Therefore, they have no Dermatologists, General Surgeons, etc.What, exactly, is a “Lifestyle Lift?” There is no patented, special procedure. It is simply a facelift performed at a Lifestyle Lift center. The name, Lifestyle Lift®, was trademarked simply to differentiate who Lifestyle Lift is and what they do for advertising purposes. There is no such thing as a distinctive “Lifestyle Lift facelift.”A number of misinformed plastic surgeons have speculated online that a “Lifestyle Lift facelift” may consist of just tightening the skin, or just using a loop of suture, or just performing a plication of the SMAS,  or using dissolvable sutures, or using permanent sutures, or performing a S-lift, etc., etc. In fact, every surgeon at Lifestyle Lift performs a facelift in their own unique way, the same as every plastic surgeon in the world has their own individual techniques.The surgeons at Lifestyle Lift are already trained and experienced in the vast number of techniques and nuances of facial plastic surgery. Over the years, each surgeon’s techniques continue to evolve as he finds better, more reliable ways of doing things. This is no different from any surgeon anywhere. Each surgeon’s techniques constantly advance as we discover more nuances and subtleties. This is called “experience,” and is why you want a facial plastic surgeon with as much experience as possible.This brings up one of the key differences between a plastic surgeon who works for Lifestyle Lift and one who does not. The Lifestyle Lift plastic surgeon performs about FIVE TIMES AS MANY facelifts and other facial plastic surgeries than the average plastic surgeons performs in their own practice. Partly, that is because facial plastic surgery is all that we do. We do not perform breast implants, tummy tucks, etc. By concentrating on just the face and neck, we develop an enormous amount of expertise in the course of our careers.Also, to my knowledge, Lifestyle Lift is the largest plastic surgery group in the world. As an integrated group practice, we can freely discuss our successes and insights with each other since we are not competing with each other. We are not limited to an annual conference where speakers give 45 minute speeches about their pet techniques. We communicate daily by email with each other offering advice, and often surgeons will spend a few days at other Lifestyle Lift centers exchanging experiences and insights with each other. We are colleagues in the best sense of the word.A key difference between a Lifestyle Lift procedure and a non-Lifestyle Lift one is the anesthesia. The typical non-Lifestyle Lift facelift is done under general anesthesia, while no procedures performed at Lifestyle Lift are done under general anesthesia. (General anesthesia is usually performed in a surgery center or hospital with an anesthesiologist in attendance. This is the kind of anesthesia typically used for open heart surgery, brain surgery, etc., where the patient is placed in a coma, and a breathing machine is needed to keep them alive.)

At Lifestyle Lift, the patient is made comfortable and relaxed with pills, never I.V. drugs, and their face is made completely numb with local anesthesia. This is done with constant monitoring of blood pressure, heart tracing, and oxygenation. Almost all of our patients doze throughout the procedure, and wake up afterward with just a pat on the hand.While it takes a while to get good at this technique, it is also much safer for patients with significant medical problems. And it is much better tolerated by elderly patients. AND it is much less expensive when you cut out the anesthesiologist and the surgery center or hospital. This is why Lifestyle Lift’s procedures are so much less expensive than a non-Lifestyle Lift surgeon’s.Another question that arises is what procedures can be done at Lifestyle Lift. We offer the full spectrum of face and neck rejuvenation procedures: facelifts, brow lifts, upper and lower blepharoplasties (eyelid lifts), lip lifts, lip implants, chin implants, fat transfer to the face, filler injections, Botox injections, CO2 laser skin treatments, split earlobe repairs, scar revisions, etc. Many of us also perform Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) infusions, Smart-Lipo laser procedures, westernization of Asian eyelids, upper eyelid ptosis correction, etc. There are almost no problems in the face and neck that we cannot address.In summary, Lifestyle Lift is the largest plastic surgery group in the world, employing some of the best plastic surgeons in the world. Their plastic surgeons perform almost any face and neck rejuvenation procedures using the same surgical techniques as plastic surgeons anywhere in the world, but in general they have much more experience in these surgeries than your average plastic surgeon. By performing their surgeries under oral sedation with local anesthesia, they can perform surgery more safely, and much less expensively.I hope this clears up some of the confusion about Lifestyle Lift.Chris Himmelheber,  M.D.

Chris Himmelheber, MD
Killeen Otolaryngologist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.