Quick Lift Vs. Lifestyle Lift: What's the Difference? - Q & A with Dr. Thomas Mcfadden
Q: Quick Lift Vs. Lifestyle Lift: What’s the Difference?
What’s the difference between a Quicklift and a Lifestyle Lift? I have read about the Lifestyle Lift with major complications like hematomas, nerve paralysis, swelling, and extensive scarring as well as a 41% satisfaction rate. How do the two procedures differ?
A: The difference between a Quicklift and a Lifestyle Lift
Unfortunately, there is much confusion about facelift terminology. Even sadder is the fact that physicians don’t even understand what these procedures are which leads to further confusion when incorrect information is shared with the public.
I have investigated almost every variation of facelift and have performed extended SMAS facelifts (the gold standard - what I was taught), MACS facelifts, and now Quicklifts. Lifestyle lifts are a franchise marketing concept, i.e., the surgeon pays for local area internet referrals to a national marketing network comprised mostly of ENTs (=facial plastic surgeons). The lifestyle lift is not a standard procedure and I have corrected several. It is essentially whatever the local franchisee wants it to be with or without liposuction. I turned down membership. A threadlift is not a facelift. They only lasted one year and I presented them as such. I do not perform them any longer as I do not consider them a good value.
Mini facelifts have been considered traditionally as “skin only” tightening. In my book, that’s never a facelift. A facelift, in my opinion, should only be classified as a procedure that supports the underlying structures of the face (the SMAS-the connective tissue layer under the skin) . The skin only benefits as a SECONDARY effect-a real, and sometimes lasting, but a secondary effect. Laser resurfacing treats the skin itself, the quality of the skin and the wrinkles that come with it. I attempt to explain that the skin and the underlying tissues are frequently two different problems that need to be treated independently. In other words, if one has a jowl or descended cheek fat and he/she gets laser resurfacing, the patient will still have a jowl or descended cheek fat but it will be tighter and smoother–the skin over that area gets contracted, NOT LIFTED!
A quicklift should NOT be lumped into the minifacelift or skin tightening category because it tightens the underlying support tissue (the lift and tension is supported by the SMAS, not the skin) and the skin is redraped over it. Granted, the “quicklift” name is a little “hokey” but it actually is a little faster and safer because the exposure it better due to configuration of the incision. The originator of the procedure (and the commercials produced by them) says that the procedure will take about an hour. I have seen him do it in person and it took 1.5 hours so that’s not quite true. Personally, it takes me about 3 hours but I pay extreme attention to detail to the incision line because that’s what the patient is really left with. In addition, I have made some modifications to the quicklift that make it a slightly more extensive, and hopefully more effective and longer lasting procedure. I fully expect that my quicklift procedures will outlast the extended SMAS and the MACS facelift procedures that I have done. I expect that the patients should see benefits for 10 or more years.
A word of caution: some surgeons will advertise their “S lift” (a single pursestring suture in the SMAS) as a substitute for a full facelift procedure. I don’t think this quite “makes the grade.” A quicklift is done with TWO pursestring sutures affixed to the periosteum of the cheekbone arch, MUCH stronger fixation than any other facelift technique. Two pursestring sutures are MUCH, MUCH more secure than one. Make sure you are comparing “apples to apples.” A single pursestring suture is a minifacelift in my book.
Be careful when shopping. Slow is not great but faster is not better. Be cautious when shopping for a procedure that advertises that “it only takes an hour.” I ALWAYS remember that patients want GREAT RESULTS….downtime and procedure time are SECONDARY goals and we should remember this priority. Perhaps this is what differentiates plastic surgeons from other specialties.
Bottom line - GET EDUCATED. KNOW WHAT YOU ARE PAYING FOR. SHOP FOR THE BEST VALUE. IN OTHER WORDS, THE MOST BANG FOR YOUR BUCK,..THE LONGEST LASTING PROCEDURE WITH THE BEST RESULTS WHILE PAYING THE LEAST AMOUNT OF MONEY FOR IT.