A regular Facelift or separate procedures cost so much more, but I've been told that the effects last 5-10 years if you don't smoke, or experience weight changes. How long can I expect the effects of a Lifestyle Lift to last under similar conditions?
How Long Do the Effects of a Lifestyle Lift Last?
Doctor Answers 21
Talk to Former Patients
Hello in Florida,
Very good answers to your question here.
I would also add that before you commit to any Facelift procedure you speak with former patients who have had it to learn from their experiences and get a sense of their overall satisfaction.
While it may be helpful to speak with Patients who are less than 6 months out from their procedure you will most likely not get an accurate idea of how long the procedure lasts.
It is best to speak with Patients who are at least 1 year out from their procedure since they will have results that are more reflective of what to expect in the long run.
The Lifestyle Lift was designed as a SMAS plication procedure (the SMAS/muscle layer is folded onto itself and sutured). There has been much debate over the years among world class Surgeons as to whether or not SMAS plication can bring about long lasting results. They have all agreed that it is very important to pick patients properly for SMAS plication procedures so that they have long lasting and worthwhile results. If a patient does not have the correct anatomy or goals that a SMAS plication is appropriate for they will most likely be dissapointed with results that weren't satisfying or didn't last very long (typically less than 1 year). Please note that at Lifestyle Lift the only procedure offered is a SMAS plication procedure whereas in other practices you may be offered a wider variety of Facelift options.
Ultimately the best way to answer your questions is to speak with your Surgeon's patients who have similar anatomy to you and have had the procedure you are interested in at least 1 year ago.
Lifestyle Lift Shelf Life
In some types of plastic surgery, the length of result is very difficult to quantify. Surgeries, like rhinoplasty and facial implants that change or replace hard structures (cartilage, bone, or implant) provide results that tend to be permanent. Surgeries that remove fat, such as liposuction and lower eyelid blepharoplasty, tend to also provide longer lasting results in the absence of significant weight gain. However, many other surgeries - such as brow lifts, face lifts, and midface lifts - that work by soft tissue repositioning and elevation of skin tend to produce results that are only semi-permanent.
What do I mean by semipermanent? The effect of the surgery on your skin and soft tissue never goes away. The simplest example is a facelift. Tthe skin that is removed doesn't grow back. However, the same processes that created the need for a facelift -gravity, sun damage, loss of skin elasticity and thinning of the fat layer below the skin- continue to effect your face long after successful surgery. As I tell my patients:
"The Hands of Father Time Continue to March On."
So, if you were 55 years old and your facelift ten years ago made you look 45 , today you would look 55 again and you might want a revision facelift. This is not a loss of the original result, but rather the continuing and ongoing process of aging on top of that result. The facelift didn't go away. Remember that, If you never had it done, today you would look 65!
Lifestyle lift is the simplest form of a facelift. It is a very limited procedure where skin only is removed under local anesthesia. In the appropriately selected patient (usually a young one) this can produce a nice result. However, in the not so appropriately selected patient with more complicated age related problems, there can be significant scarring due to over pulling of the skin.
Try to be dispassionate about your decision to have this procedure. Consult a local board certifited Facial Plastic or General Plastic Surgeon to get an alternate opinion and an idea of pricing. Look in the mirror and try to honestly assess the severity of your problem. If your problems are minor, then you must decide if the cost is warranted. If your problems are more significant, then you should strive to obtain the most comprehensive procedure and wait until you are comfortable with the cost.
In my experience, I'v had patients come to me after having had this procedure who have been a bit disappointed by the durability of the effects, telling me that the results were not as dramatic as they had hoped.
I think that a standard facelift, performed properly by a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon can provide a wonderful, lasting result. Set up a consult or two with surgeons in your area with the proper credentials, look at some of their before and after pictures, and pick the one that you feel the most comfortable with.
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The Lifestyle lift is only a mini facelift and as such...
The Lifestyle lift is only a mini facelift and as such will give less of a result than a properly done facelift. The result also will typically last at the very best for 3 to 5 years. Some patients who have had this surgery feel that their result was gone after only a week! My recommedation is to save until the cost of a real facelift is acceptable and then go to the right surgeon. This is actually less expensive than doing a Lifestyle lift and having to do another surgery soon thereafter.
Also know that the Lifestyle lift is generally not being performed by Board Certified Plastic Surgeons but rather by doctors from other specialties who want to boost their volume of cosmetic surgery and thus sign up as Lifestyle lift doctors.
Do your research
I agree with previous posters that Lifestyle Lift is essentially a heavily marketed commodity that promises a "breakthrough." I agree that it is a breakthrough in marketing but definitely not a breakthrough in technique.
I encourage viewers of this website to view remarks made by patients with actual experience with Lifestyle Lift. I think that the remarks really speak for themselves. A quick procedure for a patient with major aging changes can be a recipe for an unhappy patient.
As to who performs Lifestyle Lift: I think previous posts are misleading. It is a combination of surgeons. Some are certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, some are certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, and some by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (at least 10).
Lifestyle Lift is a commercial entity set apart from board certification, and none of the boards mentioned above have given an official blessing to the marketing or business practices of Lifestyle Lift.
As a fellowship trained and Board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon, I can assure our readers that Facial Plastic Surgeons are uniquely qualified to perform Cosmetic and Reconstructive Surgery on the face. The reason for this is that our entire training is devoted toward surgical and nonsurgical treatments of the face, head, and neck. We do not perform procedures on breast, body, hands, or extremties as do our colleagues, because we are truly facial specialists.
I encourage readers to rely on word of mouth, and to choose a surgeon who is board certified either by the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery or the American Board of Plastic Surgery, and who is able to demonstrate expertise through his or her own merits, apart from marketing.
Face Lift Marketing
I really don't see any new breakthroughs with the LSL procedure. In fact these techniques have been around for a long time - Minimal scar, suture plication of the SMAS and Platysma and Liposuction of the neck and jowl fat.
In my opinion, the problems with the LSL are as follows:
1, The Television Marketing campaign creates an unrealistic expectation for this type of operation.
2. Consistent use of before and after photographs with the neck extended in the after and flexed down in the before photographs. Look in the mirror and lift your chin up then drop you chin down - see the difference.
3. The ethics of heavy marketing to the general public and then franchising this "new" operation to non-plastic surgeon practitioners who are not Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery is a problem. The American Board of Plastic Surgery sets a very high ethical standard for the members of the Board. Other practitioners, and other so-called boards especially "cosmetic surgeons", in my opinion are more interested in increasing their market share of cosmetic procedures, while at the same time attempt to obfuscate their true formal training (eg. Ob-Gyn, Family Practice, Internal Medicine, Osteopathic Medicine) to the public. I just don't think this is in the Public Interest. This is why I applaud open forums such as RealSelf.com who indentify Board Certified Practitioners and attempt to disseminate non-biased information to the public. If you read this forum, these practitioners and most patients who have had the procedure are not positive about this procedure. I don't see doctors who actually perform this procedure responding or defending the operation.
Not all face lifts and Lifestyle lifts are the same
Not only do patient's heal differently but Lifestyle lifts are performed by different surgeons using different techniques.
Futhermore the Lifrestyle Lift was "invented" by Dr, Kent in 2001. So it has only been perfomed for 8 years. How can they tell you it lasts 5-10 years when it hasn't been around that long?
There is no way to predict how long it will last.
Using the message boards and blogs may be useful to you in this regard.
Unfortunately, Lifestyle Lift effects last a long time
While the results of minilifts performed under tension can be fleeting, the scarring may not be. A quick visit to the LifeStyle Lift section of RealSelf.com shows that 60% of patients are unhappy with their LSL. The most common reasons cited were bad scarring and inadequate rejuvenation.
One of the reasons for dissatisfaction is that patients received scars of a full facelift, but only received results of a minilift. They thought they were getting a facelift for a bargain price. Instead, they received a minilift at a bargain price. Now faced with the cost of revisions, the bargain does not seem so great.
When incisions are closed under tension, they spread and create wide scars.
It is better to see a board certified plastic surgeon and have a properly performed facelift, in my opinion, than to have a minilift of any heavily marketed name performed by a novice or a non board certified doctor.
How long does the effects of a Lifestyle Lift last?
The important component of a Lifestyle Lift is tightening of the deeper structures of the face, the SMAS/fascia and muscle structures. This tightening provides a real improvement in the overall appearance, particularly in the neck and jowl area. It is impossible to attribute an exact time period to which you turn back the clock, however as a general rule Lifestyle Lift and/or facelift provide around eight to ten years loss of appearance of aging. It is true that standard facelift procedures do cost more, but Lifestyle Lift provides an efficiency that translates into saved dollars for the individual who desires real aesthetic improvement. Essentially when undergoing a Lifestyle Lift or a facelift by an experienced surgeon, one will expect to achieve a good improvement in appearance and aesthetic youthfulness and decrease in the overall appearance of aging changes. This is a turning back of the clock. We can’t stop the clock, we can’t stop aging, but we can back it up several notches with a lift procedure. As time goes on, ongoing aging will occur.
Unfortunately, everyone will be different.
A Lifestyle Lift is a type of short scar facelift that tightens the underlying SMAS layer of the face. The dissection or freeing of the skin is less extensive than a full facelift. Also the muscle is not freed up, only plicated or folded onto itself and sutured with permanent suture. For these reasons, it will not "last" as long as a full face and neck lift. When people ask how long any particular procedure "lasts", the answer is going to depend on the patient themselves. Those that are smokers, have sundamaged skin, have lost alot of collagen/elastin, have poor genetics of aging, etc. will not have long-lasting results. How you care for yourself shows in your skin. As I tell my patients, surgery takes them from where they are to where they want to be, but aging never stops. An example that helps people understand the concept of a procedure's duration is two identical twin sisters who are 60 years old. They live similar lives, etc. One has facial surgery and looks 10 years younger afterwords. The other does not. The first sister now looks like she did when she was 50 years old. The other does not. Because the first sister invested in herself she probably takes better care of her face. So, in ten years later, the first sister now looks like she did when she was, say 55 years old. The other sister did nothing to change her behaviors and now looks like she is 70 years old, which she is chronologically . Once you have laid down scar under the skin, it does not slide as easily as you age. Also if you take good care of your skin it handles aging better. You never stop aging, but you always look better as you age compared to how you would look if you did nothing at all. Don't worry as much about how something lasts as much as how it makes you look and feel over the long haul. That kind of perspective is very satisfying. Good luck. Dr. Shah
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.