What is the Difference Between a Lifestyle Lift and a Mini Lift?

What is the difference between the "Lifestyle Lift" and a regular "mini face lift" of the bottom half of your face?

Doctor Answers 33

Stay away from both of them.

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Hi! I like Dr. Freund's answer about the Lifestyle Lift. It is an embarrassing gimmick.

A "mini lift" can mean several different things, but, at best, it will give you partial, short term improvement. I don't do it.

Today, we have several good ways of making people look younger and fresher without surgery (Botox, fillers, Thermage, lasers, etc.).

When you get to the point when only surgery will help, then I recommend a REAL facelift (which can be done with a short scar). What I mean by a real operation, is one that will lift the deeper sagging tissues (fat, muscle, fascia) and will leave you looking younger for a long time without looking pulled.

Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

You get what you pay for with limited incision procedures

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Unfortunately there are a number of terms to describe surgical procedures to rejuvenate the face. Some of these terms refer to actual surgical procedures and some of these terms are used solely for marking purposes. This is especially true of the procedures such as The Lifestyle Lift. This is a heavily marketed procedure which is performed in different areas of the country most often by physicians who are specifically not board certified plastic surgeons.

Some minimally invasive or limited incision procedures are appropriate for certain patients but certainly not for all patients. In many cases, these procedures give limited results and therefore limited patient satisfaction. Younger patients or patients with less skin laxity may be able to get good results with a well performed procedure utilizing a short scar. This is a procedure I have employed in practice for the last several years with good results. A poorly performed procedure through a short incision results in minimal improvement and a short scar which most patients would not be pleased with.

As with most if not all plastic surgical procedures you should get a personal recommendation to find a physician. I would not choose a physician based on advertising alone. Ideally, the physician will be a board certified plastic surgeon. It should not take much effort on the part of the patient to obtain the credentials of the physician.

If the credentials of the surgeon are not given freely and simply that should be a red flag. If you tend to meet with nurses or ancillary staff instead of the surgeon who will be performing your procedure, that should be a red flag. Likewise, you should understand the credentials of the individual who will be providing anesthesia.

Additionally, you should know the credentials of the facility in which he will be having your surgical procedure. There are a number of national organizations that certify operating rooms and surgical centers and the procedure in which to have the procedure should be a certified center. Again, this information should be readily accessible or ideally offered to you without your having to ask.

You should definitely ask to see before and after photographs of patients who have had a similar procedure to the procedure you are interested in and that were performed by the surgeon who will be performing your surgery.

Ralph R. Garramone, MD
Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 69 reviews

The More Advanced the Aging Changes, the More Extensive the Procedure Needs to Be

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There are three assumptions you can safely make in Facial Plastic Surgery:

1) The more advanced the aging changes are, the more extensive your procedure needs to be.

2) Not all surgeons are equal. As I was told in my training, " There is no such thing as a minor procedure; there are however, minor surgeons".

3) Always see a Board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon or Board Certified Plastic Surgeon when considering a facelift, and get a second opinion.

Lifestyle Lift is a very heavily marketed procedure, and has multiple offices throughout the country. The procedure is performed by local surgeons at a Lifestyle Lift facility, under local anesthesia. A significant message of the Lifestyle Lift marketing is that they offer a procedure that can be performed in about an hour, with minimal downtime, quick healing, and significant results.

How Long Will It Last?

A one hour procedure may be appropriate in some patients, but is certainly not appropriate for most of the patients I see in SW Florida. Longevity of results for patients typical in my practice with a 1 hour procedure? Probably 12 months or less. Why? Facelift is truly a three step procedure which constitutes work on one side of the face, the contralateral side, and elevation and contouring of the neck. If you do not address each of these elements properly in the form of carefully placed incisions, skin elevation, SMAS elevation and tightening, trimming of skin with appropriate tension, meticulous wound closure (by the surgeon), contouring of the neck, and platysmaplasty, the result is less likely to hold up for a significant period of time. A more extensive procedure will require a variable period of downtime; some patients heal more quickly than others for a variety of reasons. It should be stated that some patients with even the least extensive of procedures (injectables) will experience significant bruising.

Just as in every profession and job in this country, some individuals are more gifted, more capable, and obtain better results than others. Not surprisingly, this is certainly true in Surgery. An advertised procedure is merely an advertisement; an individual surgeons's work is an individual surgeon's work regardless of how effective his/her marketing is.

In making your decision to undergo Facial Plastic Surgery, remember that is it likely you will be spending a significant amount of money, regardless of who it is you see. Ultimately, you will want to feel comfortable with the result that you have, the amount of money you have spent to get it, and the experience that you have had. It is better for a surgeon or company to underpromise and over-deliver than the opposite. Analyze the marketing carefully, listen to word of mouth, read websites such as this, and go with your comfort level.

Stephen Prendiville, MD
Fort Myers Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 104 reviews

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Lifestyle lift is a flawed technique

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Lifestyle lift is the latest incarnation of the original skin-only facelift, first performed in 1904. This technique was abandoned shortly thereafter because it caused unsatisfactory scarring, ear displacement and short-lived results.

The latest technique is no different except that those performing the technique should know better.

The mini-lift suggests some fraction of a full facelift. This is great because not everyone needs a full facelift with the resultant swelling. However, regardless of the degree of treatment, all true surgical lifts include pulling the SMAS (muscle, fat and fascia) and replacing it back where it came from.

The Lifestyle lift website never shows patients 1 or 2 years out from surgery. The patients almost always have hair covering their ears, and in the few that you can see their ears - they are displaced.

Robert M. Freund, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

A Lifestyle lift is a Mini Face Lift under local anesthesia

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Lifestyle lift is simply a trademark name for a face lift done under local anesthesia, usually a mini type but also it can be a little more extensive. Lifestyle lift is not a new type of face lift surgery it is just a company that hires doctors to perform face lifts under local anesthesia, and they do a lot of PR, advertising and marketing to promote their brand. This is branding not a revolutionary new procedure.

Andrew Jacono, MD
Manhattan Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 215 reviews

Lifestyle Lift vs Mini Facelift

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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’.
I prefer the term 'facial rejuvenation' over the more antiquated term 'facelift', as many patients that I see who seek a more youthful and refreshed facial appearance undergo a set of surgical procedures very different from what would have been considered a 'facelift' twenty-five years ago.
The word 'rejuvenation' means, literally, 'to make young again'. In each individual, different facial changes occur with age. One person may be unhappy with 'baggy eyelids', while another has 'droopy eyebrows'. One person may be troubled by 'jowls' in the lower face, while another would like an improvement in their 'floppy neck'.
Surgical treatment of facial aging changes must therefore be carefully individualized to match each patient's aesthetic needs and desires. No two 'facelifts', by necessity, are the same. In helping a patient to make decisions about plastic surgery for facial rejuvenation, I always examine and assess how each aesthetic area or 'unit' of the face contributes to an individual's overall appearance: the brows and eyelids, the cheeks or 'midface', the lower face and chin, and the neck. An individualized surgical plan is then developed which addresses each patient's specific concerns and needs.
Surgical or even non-surgical treatment of facial aging changes must be carefully individualized to match each patient's aesthetic needs and desires. In helping a patient to make decisions about plastic surgery for facial rejuvenation, I always examine and assess how each aesthetic area or 'unit' of the face contributes to an individual's overall appearance: the brows and eyelids, the cheeks or 'midface', the lower face and chin, and the neck. An individualized plan is then developed which addresses each patient's specific concerns and needs.
A "liquid facelift" is a procedure that is performed using temporary dermal fillers like Juvederm Restylane or Perlane. There is little to no downtime with a liquid facelift. This might be an ideal treatment for some, but the results are temporary and it does not address excess skin.
Structural fat grafting, sometimes referred to as microfat grafting can provide fullness to lips, cheeks, hollowed upper or lower eyelids and can fill lines and wrinkles on the face. Unlike the liquid facelift, the results from structural fat grafting can be permanent
Laser Skin tightening is a non-invasive treatment with little to no downtime. For individuals with early signs of aging, uneven skin tone, scarring or large pores a laser skin tightening procedure can provide dramatic results.
Consult with a plastic surgeon who has experience and expertise in both surgical and non-surgical facial rejuvenation to determine the treatment plan that is best for you.

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

Mini face lift vs. Lifestyle Lift

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The term mini-lift is nebulous, but is often used either to mean a facelift for the upper face alone, for the neck and lower face alone, or for a minimal skin-only facelift.

The Lifestyle lift, according to its practitioners, and the post-LSL patients I have seen, involves the incisions of a full facelift, minimal undermining with no SMAS work. No SMAS work means all the volume that has descended down and rests on the jowls stays there.

The loose neck muscles stay the way they are. Most of the excess skin stays where it is because it is not undermined and advanced. The lost volume remains uncorrected. So all the technology, incisions and benefits of a circa 1910 Lexer facelift...

Brent Moelleken, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 195 reviews

The lifestyle lift is a version of a mini-lift

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This is a difficult question to answer because there are so many variables.

For one, each plastic surgeon has his own opinion of what a mini-lift entails. For some, it is a limited scar. For others it implies limited skin undermining. For others, a mini-facelift is a skin only operation and for others the deep tissues (SMAS) are lifted.

It is my understanding that the Lifestyle lift doctors all do their own variation of the procedure as well. I only know one of these physicians personally. He is plastic surgery trained (not ENT) and he has told me that he generally does a modified MACS lift which involves SMAS elevation and plication sutures. He told me that he extends the scar a little further posteriorly in most patients than a "standard" MACS lift. He has chosen what he feels is the best mini-facelift surgery in his hands and this has evolved over the years. This leads me to believe that many other Lifestyle lift doctors have strayed from the "Lifestyle lift" and there may not be enough consistency in the procedure to intellectually compare a LSL to a mini-facelift.

What seems to be consistent is the marketing scheme (heavy TV advertising), business models, and that the procedure is done relatively quickly with local anesthetic.

York Jay Yates, MD
Salt Lake City Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 190 reviews

Factual Comparison of Lifestyle Lift and mini lift

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Hello in Chattanooga,

Having performed hundreds of Lifestyle Lifts and mini-lifts in the past I hope I can answer your question in a clear and factual manner.

"Mini-lift" on the whole implies a surgical procedure meant to address mild aging changes seen in the lower third of the face. The tag "mini" refers to the use of smaller incisions (ie. in front of the ear only, along the sideburn only or in back of the ear only ) as well as its application to address "mini"mal signs of aging.

It can be an effective procedure for patients with very specific aging concerns, those who are younger and have early signs of aging or those who have had a previous facelift and need a little extra lift. The "mini-lifts" do not go deeper than the SMAS/muscle layer and do involve removing skin.

The Lifestyle Lift is also meant to address aging changes in the lower third of the face but involves a classic facelift incision that extends from the sideburn along the front of the ear and along the back of the ear.

Due to the greater exposure gained from the larger incision, it can address aging changes that are more advanced than seen in those who are candidates for a "mini-lift". Like "mini-lifts" the Lifestyle Lifts do not go deeper than the SMAS/muscle layer and do involve removing skin.

Hope this helps!

Kamran Jafri, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon

Big difference between a Lifestyle lift and mini face lift (especially in longevity of results)

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The "lifestyle lift" uses the same incisions as a mini-lift, but uses sutures only to achieve the "lift". The lifestyle lift may only last by some reports as little as 18 months to 3 years, but it costs a lot!

The mini-lift uses the same incision, and usually achieves the lifting by elevating and supporting the deeper structures (SMAS).

Recovery time, swelling, bruising, etc., are not significantly different, from my opinion.

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.