Dr. Oz, the Doctors, and Oprah television shows survive by promoting “the next greatest thing”. These shows make new surgical procedures or rejuvenation equipment the answer to all your aging concerns and market directly to the public. They “inform and educate” you on what you “need” to correct your aging concerns thereby bypassing the advice, experience, and knowledge of your physician. It has been shown recently that direct-to-consumer prescription drug advertisements increase the sales of the drug but unfortunately not to the individuals most likely to benefit from the advertised drug. Many patients come into my office requesting a certain procedure or laser treatment because they saw a wonderful result on a television show or infomercial.
Most of the advertised and/or hyped procedures or equipment is neither better nor safer than previous techniques. The “LifeStyle” facelift is not revolutionary or extraordinary as advertised. The thread lift was largely abandoned in the 70’s only to be resurrected with disastrous results at the start of this century. The joke was that inexperienced physicians put in the threads but experienced plastic surgeons had to remove the threads and correct the horrific deformities. Lasers are introduced to physicians at costs over $100,000.00 and practitioners need to promote it as “the next greatest thing” in order to get a return on their expensive equipment investment.
Patients need to understand that “if it sounds too good to be true it probably is” and “little procedures produce little results”. Many patients have been disappointed with less invasive procedures by others and then come to see me after spending thousands of dollars with little or nothing to show for it. Compromising on the procedure because of an extended recovery leaves a lot of people unhappy. Remember that the correct procedure with a 2-3 week recovery is going to improve 50 years of aging better than 30 minutes under a laser.
Thomas J. Francel, M.D.