What type of Facelift should I get? Mini-lift, S-lift, Thread lift, XYZ-lift?

A drawing of a woman's shoulders, neck and head.

It seems nowadays that more and more plastic surgery savvy patients come to my office asking for a specific procedure.

Do you do the mini-lift? Do you do the S-lift? I want a Thread lift!… and on and on…

Patients are asking for specific procedures because they have been reached by the marketing efforts of Plastic Surgeons. Since surgeons are trained to do procedures, they market procedures as their product. In order to differentiate themselves in the marketplace, they come up with these catchy names to create a “unique” presence for themselves in the marketplace. Alternately, if there is a particular buzzword or catchphrase that is getting media attention, the surgeon will use it in his marketing pitch, to benefit from the attention generated by that particular “product-lift”.

The patient then comes to me with a request for a procedure which is supposed to be the latest not aware that the procedure may not be that new, or that great, or that different from other time tested techniques. If the surgeon says he hasn’t heard of the procedure, he risks being perceived as ‘not up to the latest’. But in many cases, it only means he hasn’t been keeping up with the marketing efforts of his peers. That is why, in order to, keep up with my patients knowledge base, I scan influential medical journals such as Cosmopolitan and Vogue ;).

But what exactly does a patient want? Is it the latest XYZ-lift?, or to improve her look?
I doubt you would ask for the XYZ-lift if you knew it would give you problems, even if it was at a good price, with minimal downtime. This is why you go to a well trained, board certified plastic surgeon.

An experienced , well trained plastic surgeon will provide you with his judgement as to which procedure fits you best . When talking to your surgeon, be specific in explaining what exactly it is that you want to change. Do not be afraid to ask the surgeon to explain to you his surgical plan in terms you can understand. Ask to see pre and postoperative pictures, so you can see what kind of work he does. Beware of surgeons who ‘specialize’ in one type of procedure, as he may talk you into it whether you are a good candidate or not.

So, which kind of Facelift should you get? The one that fits you best, even if it doesn’t have a catchy name!

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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