We’re all aware of the over exaggerated marketing efforts to brainwash consumers into believing they “need” items or services. There’s always a newer, better, more effective, healthier, promise attached. We often forget there’s a billion dollar industry behind this marketing dedicated to selling whatever the advertiser pays them to sell. There’s no difference in the plastic surgery industry. Many surgeons like me have dedicated their lives to facial plastic surgery because they love helping people. Whether it’s a skin cancer reconstruction or a facelift, I receive equal gratification. Although surgeons are highly educated and skilled at their profession, they’re still in a business that requires making money to pay their bills.
At this day and age with increasing competition, doctors are forced to perform surgeries at lower costs and possibly with increased risk to patients. To the unsuspecting shopper, these quick fixes or “assembly line facelifts” such as the Lifestyle Lift or Quick Lift, seem like a viable option to get a faster, safer facelift at a fraction of the cost. The truth is, doctors are taking techniques that have existed for years and packaging them into a so-called “revolutionary procedure.” Some doctors who offer these types of surgeries even pride themselves on the short amount of time it takes to complete the procedure. Surgery should be measured in quality, not in terms of speed.
Many of these assembly line facelift practices have been under investigation for false advertising and using high-pressure sales tactics on patients who don’t need surgery. I have seen countless patients who settled for these heavily marketed procedures that are shocked when their faces begin to sag again after a year. Perhaps results last longer in some cases, but a proper facelift should last 8-10 years. The techniques most commonly used by these practices are similar to what you might find with any facial plastic surgeon. The “S-lift” facelift yields a shorter healing period, less scarring, and smaller incision lines. Although patients may see the same named procedure, there is still a big difference in how the surgery is executed.
The assembly line facelifts most commonly only lift the skin and are sometimes accompanied by limited SMAS techniques, which will quickly fall back down with gravity. When I perform a facelift, I comprehensively lift the layer of tissue beneath the skin and subcutaneous fat in the face is known as the SMAS (superficial musculo-aponeurotic system). By fully releasing and moving this layer upward it allows the skin and fat in the face to move up as well, lifting the cheeks, jowls and neck tissues. This technique produces the most effective and longest lasting results in restoring a younger appearance.
The most important factor as a patient is to be properly educated and informed of expectations. Choosing a dual board certified facial plastic surgeon is of utmost importance to insure optimal results.
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