Lifestyle lift, Minilifts, and XYZ lifts…more ranting

A magnifying glass being held above a newspaper article.

Since several patients have called recently inquiring about the “Lifestyle Lift,” I just had to put my thoughts online about the XYZ-lift phenomenon.

Patients and surgeons are intensely curious about procedures that promise to deliver great results with minimal discomfort and downtime. After all, what could be better? – great looks, minimal bother! As with everything in life, if it looks to good to be true, it probably is not. But every once in a while, something does come up that is both much better than what was previously available, and true. It’s called innovation.

The trick for the surgeon and the patient is to distinguish between that which is too good to be true and what is too good AND true.

As a surgeon with over 20 years experience, I have seen a lot of these “newest and greatest” procedures come and go. I can only name a couple that have truly stood the test of time. A few keep coming back every few years with a new twist and a new name, but the same basic results. Put all the “blah-blah-blah LIFT” varieties in this category, along with cellulite reducing creams and non surgical bust enhancers.

Here is my advice on XYZ Lifts:

  1. Mini surgeries tend to give mini results. Adjust expectations accordingly.
  2. Let others be the guinea pigs. Most new technologies need to have their kinks worked out. Better to avoid the “OOPS!” phase in the development of new technology.
  3. “Results may vary” – New procedures take some time to “find their place.” For example, the thread lift may work better in the midface than in the neck. In the meantime, a lot of people will be spending a lot of money on thread lifts on various other parts of the face that may not work that great.
  4. It’s the tennis player, not the racket. A lot of times a new procedure is marketed for something that can be reliably done by an experienced surgeon using time tested techniques. The risk of the new procedure is that you may be wasting your money, or worse yet, risking a complication.
  5. In your consultation with your surgeon, focus on ‘exactly what you want to change,’ as opposed to the ‘name’ of the technique. Let the surgeon explain the various techniques available to achieve that particular enhancement.

By Dr. Ricardo L. Rodriguez MD Board Certified Plastic Surgeon Cosmeticsurg Baltimore, Maryland Ricardo L. Rodriguez on American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

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