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.
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.
Mini-Lifts like LifeStyle Lift vs Full Facelift Pros and Cons
The LifeStyle Lift is a heavily branded type of mini lift. A mini-lift in my opinion is focused on the lower face, does not require general anesthesia, and has abrevieated incisions, takes a shorter time to perform and recover from in comparison to a traditional facelift. But then again there are lots of mini-lifts that offer similar claims. For example, the mini-lifts may be tough to choose from because of all the brand names such as LifeStyle Lift, S-Lift, Quick Lift, LiteLift, MACS and others. If performed by an experienced and skilled board certified plastic surgeon you should have long lasting results if you have mild facial aging especially of the lower face and upper neck.
There is however,a need for traditional facelifts. For example, if you have a large amount of redundant neck skin and fat or turkey waddle deformity, you may benefit more by liposuction and a traditional facelift which does better with lower neck skin redundancy.
Probably most important thing for a patient to seek is the skill and experience of the surgeon. Always check out his/her before and after photos and ask to see long term results and most of all that he is trained and a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon or Board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon with extensive experience over many years.
Pros and Cons of a Lifestyle Lift
Essentially all of us age and endure the consequences of aging. Particularly after the age of 35 and 40, we develop changes in the face that essentially none of us really like or desire. Specifically, increased lines around the mouth are noted, jowls and laxity and sagging of skin; fat and soft tissue become apparent even at an earlier age. Essentially the best answer to try to improve these problems is a mini facelift or Lifestyle Lift. Other treatments simply fall short in the majority of instances. The “pros” is that the problems associated with you and I aging are significantly reduced with a Lifestyle Lift. Risks or “cons” are the standard risks for any procedure, which includes lumps and bumps, discomfort, discoloration, temporary numbness, aching pain and occasional bleeding or infection. Severe permanent problems are quite rare.
Pros and cons of a lifestyle lift
The lifestyle lift is a trademark for a mass marketing corporation that sells lower third facelifts under local anesthetic using plastic surgeons and facial plastic surgeons as technicians to accomplish this goal.
There is nothing revolutionary about the lifestyle lift. It is a lower third facelift that incorporates a SMAS plication or imbrication technique in order to anchor the muscle in a more youthful, elevated position. These techniques are some of the most traditional facelift techniques available.
If you read many of the reviews on the lifestyle lift you will find that there is much patient dissatisfaction. Much of this is derived from a negative experience for the patient. The company's advertising claims that you can have your procedure done over lunch and be back to work in a few days. This is completely inaccurate and many patients feel blind-sided when they are still healing three weeks later, which is completely normal for a facelift. Another problem with the company is that there is very limited patient surgeon interaction which can make the patient feel isolated and, occasionally abandoned.
There are many facial plastic and plastic surgeons who are qualified and capable of performing a variety of different facelift techniques. I would visit with at least three qualified and experienced surgeons before making a decision on who you would like to do the surgery. The benefit to choosing a private practice surgeon is that your entire experience will likely be much better. You will have much more individual attention, much more interaction with your surgeon, and a much more detailed and effective treatment plan designed to meet your unique and specific needs. Good Luck!
Similar to a traditional lift
In my experience, I performed the procedure at the Ontario CA center in a similar fashion to a traditional face/neck lift with all the considerations and modification needed to suit the individual patient's anatomy. The pros and cons are similar to a standard face/neck lift.
Pro and cons of a lifestyle left
That's a good question to ask a lifestyle lift sales associate or doctor. Mini lifts tend to give mini results and don't last as long. In our office, we perform a face neck lift procedure to comprehensively rejuvenate the face. Our facelifting procedure lasts 3 hours, performed under general anesthesia, not local. We address tightening the neck muscles in 3 locations, tightening the facial muscles, tightening excess facial and neck skin, and removal of the fatty deposits in the neck. For many examples, please see the link below to our facelift photo Gallery
Lifestyle Lift (Mini Lift) Pros and Cons
A Lifestyle Lift is just a marketing tool used to promote a "mini lift" of the lower 1/3 of the face. A mini lift is useful for "mild aging" and is not as invasive as a full face lift, giving the person less down time and a quicker recovery. It does have the same risks most surgical procedures have including temporary numbness, bruising, swelling, pain or discomfort, and although rare, infection. And although it is not as dramatic as a full face lift, not everyone is to the point where they would need one and therefore the mini lift is a great option for someone who wants to rejuvenate their face without the more invasive procedure. “Dr. D”