The Lifestyle Lift is a trademarked procedure that was created by Dr. David Kent, a cosmetic surgeon in Detroit, Michigan. In 2001, Dr. Kent performed his patented mini facelift on a 50-year-old client who was worried about the risks and expenses associated with a traditional facelift. The patient, apparently satisfied, spurred the doctor to patent his results and sell franchises to other plastic surgeons to provide what he called the Lifestyle Lift because it does not require a long recovery period, allowing patients to quickly return to their daily activties with fewer interruptions. As of 2010, there were about 80 certified plastic surgeons trained and licensed to provide the Lifestyle Lift in the United States.
The Lifestyle Lift is performed under local anesthesia and is considered a facial firming procedure that takes about an hour to do. An oral relaxing medication also is provided. Patients sit up in a chair, similar to a dentist's chair and are covered over the shoulders with a sheet. Patients remain awake during the procedure and can talk to the doctor while he works. The Lifestyle Lift is designed to treat wrinkles and frown lines and remove excess fat in the face. It is used to bring back the definition in the jaw line and tighten the skin on the face and neck. An incision is made in front of the ears and extends around the lower ears. Muscles are pulled tight and excess skin is lifted and cut off. Some fat can be removed during the process with light liposuction. Small sutures are made in the hairline or behind the ears. There are no threads or wires inserted in the face. Each Lifestyle Lift is customized to the needs of the patient. Prices can range from $3,000 to $5,000, which is considerably less than the $8,000 to $15,000 cost of a complete facelift.
Recovery takes about a week and makers of the Lifestyle Lift report that most patients can resume normal activities if they haven't had any additional work done on their eyes or neck. Patients revisit the physician for follow-up checks the following day, in one week and after one month. As with any surgical procedure, results vary. The skill and competency of the plastic surgeon are important, which is why patients should seek out board certified plastic surgeons. Common side effects include bruising and swelling, which usually dissipates within a week. Doctors often use the initial consultation to up-sell and convince patients to include additional procedures that typically require longer recovery times, cause more swelling and cost more money.