Archive for June, 2013:

Lifestyle Lift and Other Marketing Scams

I’m sure you’ve seen the ads on TV that look too good to be true. A facelift using a “LifeStyle Lift” without anesthesia, no downtime and the Before and After  pictures of a model who looks unbelievable. Then there are the reviews from all of the happy patients. Small wonder that we frequently get calls from prospective patients looking for similar results and wondering whether we perform the LifeStyle Lift at our office.  We don’t.

LifeStyle Lift is a business, marketing scheme that allows physicians, not necessarily board certified plastic surgeons, to get referrals based on a kick-back to the company for their broad and deceptive advertising campaign. The LifeStyle Lift is performed under local anesthesia, thereby not requiring the surgery facility to be accredited unless intravenous sedation is used to put patients into  a twilight state. Some of the physicians performing the LifeStyle Lift would never be approved to practice the procedure in a hospital or accredited facility, making it particularly desirable  for the unqualified or unscrupulous practitioner.

This week in Florida, LifeStyle Lift has agreed with terms set forth by the Florida attorney general, Pam Bondi, to stop advertising the procedure as “revolutionary” and to change the language from stating, falsely, that the “facial rejuvenation procedure that is purported by them to be safer and less expensive than other traditional procedures, totally individualized for the client, and offers a quicker recovery time.” The only thing remotely “revolutionary” about the LifeStyle Lift is that they’ve managed to get away with this marketing scam as long as they have.The office was looking at possible violations of the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act.

Back in 2009, former New York attorney general Andrew Cuomo called Lifestyle Lift’s marketing “cynical, manipulative and illegal.” At that time, LifeStyle Lift was cited for paying kickbacks to their models for good reviews.  Frequently models for the procedure have  had other procedures performed and the pictures are deliberately deceptive to the consumers.  LifeStyle Lift settled a case with New York’s attorney general that found evidence that company employees were posing as satisfied customers.

Lifestyle Lift is yet another case of buyer beware. At least in this instance, New York and Florida have taken some action to stop this deceptive practice and marketing scheme.

If you are considering a facelift, MACS lift for facial rejuvenation, please speak to a board-certified plastic surgery who offers a range of facial rejuvenation procedures individualized for your own specific goals.

For more information about facelift surgery or to schedule a consultation, please call Grand Rapids Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Steven Ringler at 616.328.8800




Archive for June, 2013:

Lifestyle Lift and Other Marketing Scams

If you’ve ever been tempted to respond to one of those “two breast implants for the price of one” type promotions or travel vacations offering plastic surgery for less, be careful. It is a very rare reputable, board certified plastic surgeon who will offer surgical procedures at a discount to just anyone responding to an ad in the paper or magazine. This is truly a case of “buyer beware” when you see such types of promotions.

What is the problem with wanting to save a little money on a cosmetic surgery procedure? First of all, not everyone seeing an ad is a good surgical candidate. Only after a complete medical consultation with your plastic surgeon would it be possible to determine if you are a good candidate for the advertised procedure. Almost all surgeries have some contraindications and possible complications or risks associated with them. Even the most experienced and ethical plastic surgeons will have them on occasion. Your own personal goals for surgery are also very important, and if you are simply price shopping, they may not be taken into consideration.

If you choose to have your breast augmentation, tummy tuck or discounted liposuction in another country, what are your options if you have complications when you return home? Most board certified plastic surgeons are not very comfortable looking after someone else’s complications. Paying another doctor to take care of your discounted plastic surgery is often not a real cost savings when you consider the potential risks. I have often been asked to help fix complications associated with plastic surgery results that were unacceptable to the patient or have gone wrong. Unfortunately, the truth is, it is not always possible to get a great result after a botched surgical procedure, regardless of the level of expertise of the plastic surgeon.

When it comes to cosmetic plastic surgery, not all surgeons have the same level of training, experience, expertise and options available for you. Look for a board certified plastic surgeon with extensive experience and credentials in the procedure you are considering. The more options you are provided with, the better the chance you will find the option that is best for you. As the hair color ad advises; do it “because your worth it” – sometimes the price of discounts is too high.

If you are interested in finding out more about improving your appearance,  please call Dr. Steven Ringler today for a complimentary consultation to find out how we can help you safely achieve your goals for looking your best.

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1151 E Paris Ave SE #200 · Grand Rapids, Michigan 49546 · (616) 328-8800