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Always ask about lasting results and effectiveness of treatment

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Modern Snake Oil

The desire for significant improvement with minimal recovery or downtime is admirable. Hope springs eternal! The virus will be gone by summer! The cruise lines will be back at it by July! Lunchtime liposuction! The threadlift will solve facial aging concerns! The art of surgery is dead! All statements made and soon proven false with time, experience and research.

I am amazed by the human spirit. I never ceases to balance hope and fear. Some are balanced toward hope, positive people. You know the one’s who see a dark sky coming and they see beauty and the clarity of the sky that follows a storm. Bird’s chirping while finding the worms in a rain filled field. Dogs and cats, playing together. Etc. On the other extreme are the naysayers, the individuals who refuse to experiment and progress due to fear of possible negative results. I wont try this new job because I could lose my benefits. I wont go back to school because it will take too much of my time.

This same balance of hope has resulted in the dissatisfaction of millions when it comes to surgery. Imagine if you, the consumer, knew that only 20-37% satisfaction resulted in 6 months from a very expensive ($5,000-15,000) procedure you were considering? I am not sure about you, but I would be very disappointed if I knew my home renovation would only result in satisfaction 37% of the time at 6 months after completion! I would be furious! Why? Because we all make value judgements. I value my hard earned money based upon what I will get in return for my expenditure. If I buy a shirt, I know I will likely wear it a few times before it will seem dated, old or out of style. Therefore, it makes very little sense to me to pay more than $100 for that shirt. It is essentially disposable and a cost-per-wear analysis might yield $10 per wear and I might wear it for 6 months. It is very unlikely that I will wear it after that time and it is more likely that I will be searching for it’s replacement by then.

Similarly, if the consumer knew their results of a surgical procedure would only last 6 months or less, how much would they be willing to pay for that return on expense? Let’s use Botox as an example. Most know that Botox or its competitions only lasts 3-4 most of effectiveness. So, when we pay $400 for such a treatment, we know very well that it is essentially paying $100 per month for the benefit of wrinkle reduction or reduction or removal of migraine headaches. Is that of value to the consumer? I would suggest that the 15 million people who receive Botox regularly would agree that it is worth the expense.

But what about thread lifting? This procedure has been promoted by its producers for more than 30 years! How many studies have verified its effectiveness at greater than 6 months after placement? Two. Yes, two, and those two studies were funded by the manufacturers of the threads themselves! No joke. This technique does not work and will not work. It is NOT a replacement for surgery and never will be. Sorry, folks.

Please, ask your surgeon (make sure they are a surgeon, please, please, please...) what the effectiveness of the device or treatment is. Not just at 1 month, but at 5 years after expense. What are the odds of satisfaction of the recommended treatment? What research is available to support the best use of your hard earned money, time, recovery and risk? For gosh sakes, there is a wealth of data that is readily available to answer these questions today!

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.