Wednesday, July 15, 2009

"Lifestyle Lift" - A Classic, Fantastc Plastic (Surgery) Fraud



Company Settles Case of Reviews It Faked

By CLAIRE CAIN MILLER

Published: July 14, 2009

Lifestyle Lift, a cosmetic surgery company, has reached a settlement with the State of New York over its attempts to fake positive consumer reviews on the Web, the New York attorney general’s office said Tuesday.

The company had ordered employees to pretend they were satisfied customers and write glowing reviews of its face-lift procedure on Web sites, according to the attorney general’s statement. Lifestyle Lift also created its own sites of face-lift reviews to appear as an independent sources.

"I love my new lips so much," one satisfied customer says, "that I am not afraid to outline them in black anymore!"


One e-mail message, discovered by the attorney general’s office, told employees to “devote the day to doing more postings on the Web as a satisfied client.”

The company will pay $300,000 in penalties and costs to the state. It has also agreed to stop publishing anonymous reviews on Web sites in the voices of satisfied customers and to identify any content created by employees, the statement said.

Andrew M. Cuomo, New York’s attorney general, said in a statement that Lifestyle Lift’s “attempt to generate business by duping consumers was cynical, manipulative and illegal.”

False reviews have become more of a problem as more people rely on sites like Yelp, Amazon or Epinions to rate and learn about products and services.

Some review sites have grown so powerful that consumer reviews can make or break a new business. Lifestyle Lift, which is based in Troy, Mich., and operates 32 centers nationwide, believed that negative reviews had significantly hurt its reputation, the attorney general’s office said.

"Lifestyle" has been good to me," another satisfied customer said, and promices me free follow-up visits, if necessary."

Lifestyle Lift said in a statement that it “regrets that earlier third-party Web site content did not always properly reflect and acknowledge patient comments or indicate that the content was provided by Lifestyle Lift.”

The livelihood of review sites depends on readers trusting their content; weeding out biased reviews from the sea of anonymous, user-generated submissions has been challenging.

“It’s an incredible violation of consumer trust and it’s a pernicious element of the Web that some companies have embraced this idea, under the guise of reputation management,” said Thomas Seery, founder of RealSelf.com, a site on which he said Lifestyle Lift had posted misleading reviews.


http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/15/technology/internet/15lift.html?_r=1

38 comments:

  1. Class Action Lawsuit... 1-888-LSL-Suit

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    1. Have had same nightmare. Is there a law suite against them? Would love to retrive enough refund to have a plastic surgeon fix my face. Thanks

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  2. Don't for a minute buy into the "old practice" type of stuff. They did it openly until they got caught and then they continued to do it until the NY AG forced them to stop.

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  3. Worst decision I ever made. I don't look one minute younger...Just have scars now.

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  4. Having a surgery I think is the last plan in having a life style change. You need to be very careful on deciding having a surgery. It is very risky.

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  5. DO NOT GO TO LIFESTYLE LIFT!! I HAD IT DONE OVER A MONTH AGO AND AM IN PAIN, WITH HORRIBLE VISABLE SCARS IN FRONT & BEHIND MY EARS, UNDER MY CHIN, AND 'ROPEY' TEXTURE OVER EACH JAW AREA. MY NECK ALSO HAS THICK 'ROPEY' TEXTURE SO BAD,THAT I CANNOT LIFT MY HEAD BACK. I AM A NURSE AND AM STILL NOT BACK TO WORK AS I AM IN SO MUCH DISCOMFORT. I NOW HAVE TO PAY FOR 2 CONSULTS WITH DIFFERENT PLASTIC SURGEONS TO REPAIR THE DAMAGE THAT L.L. DID AND THEN PAY TO HAVE THIS DONE,SO I LOOK NORMAL AGAIN.
    IT WAS ALSO THE MOST PAINFUL PROCEDURE I'VE EVER GONE THRU [AND I'VE HAD 2 'NATURAL CHILDBIRTH'S AND 4 SHOULDER SURGERIES!]...
    DO NOT...AGAIN.... DO NOT GO TO LIFESTYLE LIFT.... judy

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    1. Where did you have this done, I went to Jacksonville Ga. Suppose to have surgery in Feb.

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  6. Beware of Lifestyle Lift in Franklin, TN. The man that did my proceedure, Dr. Raja A. Atiyah, left me with horrible scars and nerve damage. My whole story is too long to time in this small forum, but I have found out Atiyah is no longer working for Lifestyle Lift only 8 months after my proceedure,after he told me he would fix what he did. I have found out he lost his license in the state of IL and was involved in something to do with Narcotics in Lawrence, TN. If someone could find out if there is a classaction lawsuit I could join. These people. Have to be stopped.What is my recouse as malpractice attorneys only take cases that amount to large amounts of money.I really don't know how to proceed.Others have to have been dissatisfied as well and I wish I could find out who they are.

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  7. A correction about Dec. 31st post...Dr. Atiyah is in Lawrenceburg, TN, not Lawrence. He is at the Crockett Hosp. there but you have to have adobe to access any information on their website. This is a very evil man and I will be interested in sharing more of my horror story if anyone shows any interest.

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  8. Dear Judy, Where did you have your surgery done. I am in Nashville, TN, and had mine done in Franklin.

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  9. I will help take the evil, mutilating Dr. down... LSL was notified of his drug problems.. Dr. ------- wrote him a script for detox before he went to rehab.... I was his nurse and got the hell out of there and have proof he self medicated himself before procedures at Crockett hospital and in his Lburg office!!!! Both facilities were and are aware. He used pain medication All under the descretion of the office manager Jackie Mattox!! I was told to keep my mouth shut. NOT ANYMORE!!! Im tired of people being hurt by the lying man!! I had to do research myself, as his nurse, I believed he was board certified and in Dec. 2009 I found out his license had been repremanded back in July. I jumped ship quick after I brought it to the attention of the other staff members I was asked to either resign or get fired... I chose to resign. I worked to hard for my licensure to work for a quack!!! Also, I did manage to take the medication log sheet from the office unbeknowst to the office manager or Atiyah.....

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    1. oh my god he botched my sugery at life style lift in frankin ten i want to sue but need to join a group of people that he butchered if there is a group would someone let me know at bkelsoe56@gmail.com brenda my sugery was dontfirst of 2010 then dr bogges trying to fix it now a yr are more later i have stiches trying to come out on the left side the one that doc atiyah pulled to tighthad a staph infection after both sugerys they left the stiches in to long after the first sugerys i asked he nurce u didnt take many stiches out she said be ok they were imbedded and see couldnt see them but the one to the outside would just come out by guess she didnt know that i would have a second sugery over the top of them i thought doc bogges would remove them i guess not my head is hurting so bad there is swelling fuild colecting around my ear hurts so bad why do i have to suffer because of a quack if know of a law suit going on that i can join please contact me at bkelsoe56@gmail.com thanks for the info i knew he was not right scared for life now brenda

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  10. Dear Anonymous,
    When you post to me on RealSelf, I will get a notification in my email so I will know when you post. My story and others along with you will be the Juggernaught, finally! There is action in the works already and I am so anxious to hear from you now and proceed with taking these bastards out!!!

    "Sunshine"

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  11. Dear Anonymous,
    My screen name on RealSelf is "2trusting". When you sign into RealSelf, Register and mark the "leave me a private message" box and my email will alert me. Your information will be very helpful as I am getting help from someone in the Attorney Generals office.

    "Sunshine"+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

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  12. hello my mother had surgery with him has had terrible outcome if there is a lawsuit she wants more info please my email is nurseangie32@yahoo.com

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  13. <<<This is to the woman who was Atiyah's nurse. It is very important that you contact me as soon as possible. There is a major force in action that is going through all States Attorney Generals offices in the country. All info. is being gathered and there are those of of out there working to get as many people on board who know the truth about LSL and Atiyah's behavior will be made known by all of us. I have talked to women on RealSelf and have contacted women in several different states already. My proceedure was March 13, 2010 and I'm wondering if you were his nurse during thaat time? My email is shangri-la.1915@comcast.net ... Also to nurseangie, I have already emailed you, so I look forward to hearing from you. These Greedy Bastards will be taken down!!

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  14. ************WE LOVE THIS WEBSITE**************
    THANKS GREEDY BASTARDS HALL OF SHAME FOR THIS
    FORUM! YOU ROCK!!
    ******************

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  15. I had my LSL procedure in Schaumburg Il.on 6-5-10. Worst decision I ever made. They made it sound like it was going to be a "piece of cake", it was HORRIBLE. I have 3 inch dark scars in front of both ears and a puckered scar under my chin. I paid $8000 for nothing except a scarred face. Run away from LSL! They sucker you in and push you out the door after the procedure. No post op visit with the surgeon! Even my vet wants to see my animal after a minor procedure!! God how I wish I could turn back the clock and do that day over again!!!! Don't do it!!!

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  16. Dear Anonymous,
    Please contact the IL Attorney Generals office for a complaint form. Copy all of the information along with the record of your experience to Gregory Jackson,/ Assistant Attorney General,/Econeomic Crimes Div./ Office of the Attorney General/1300 Riverplace Blvd. Suity 405/Jacksonville, FL 32207/ Phone 904-348-2720/ Fax 904-858-6918, so that your A.G. will know you're in touch with them. There is an investigation going on. My story is 14pg long. The American Medical Association- 800-621-8335 -info. on filing a complaint- 800-994-6610. Contact Dept. of Consumer Affairs... the Fed Trade commission # 877-382-4357. If you find yourself on the web blog RealSelf, I post as 2trusting there. We all have to let all our protection agencies know what goes on behind closed doors in these sinister practices, and get the laws changed that are in place which allow a corpoation to perform surgery in non-steril rooms by poorly trained Drs.in some cases, and without Accreditation. Please play Paul Revere and help get the word out so the Attorney Generals office will be flooded. This hell has to end for the American public.

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    1. Oh, and, yes, I KNOW LSL reads these blogs, and it is probably one of the few that won't take their advertisements. The insidious, and manipulative way they have spread their evil tentacles into the world wide web, linking up to any search that has the word style, lift, or life it. In fact they are advertising now on RealSelf on all of the Threads that have anything to do with facial plastic surgery. Even on the LSL Thread where people post "happy" and "unhappy" Reviews on the procedure which they bastardized from the old fashioned SMAS lift, and other forms of the lower face lifts. They don't have a patent on the surgery, just their logo. All the while more Lawsuits & Investigations by A.G.s are being launched. Can you imagine their Advertising Budget, Or their Attorney's fees which are mounting. And Debbie Boone makes me SICK!

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  17. Lifestyle Lift is a a Marketing Company posing as Medical one.
    The vast majority of Lifestyle Lift doctors are DOs (not even MDs) and are NOT Plastic Surgeons. David Kent is the founder and he is a DO. Gordon Quick is their CEO, and was alleged to commit sexual battery and harassment when CEO for a non-medical company in MO (ref. Google search).
    Their doctors themselves have very weak credentials and there is not a single credible doctor in their organization; most of them are journeymen, and go from practice to practice.
    In addition to several Lifestyle Life deaths, they have had several life-threatening infections including Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) because they don't sterilize their instruments; their surgeries take place in an office room. They should be shut-down. Any harmed patient should contact their state medical board, state AG, and also the Florida Attorney General who is doing an investigation.

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    1. These allegations against LSL are untrue. You are generalizIng. There are about 100 Doctors in the LSL network and I have seen a lot of their work. There is no way to lump them all together, since each Doctor has their own licensing, credentials and history. Just like any other cosmetic surgery practice there are risks, you are having surgery and the usual waivers have to be signed. People are subject to infection, even in the most pristine of conditions. Check out your local hospital's infection records, if you don't believe it. The surgeries are done in the same type of outpatient settings that most plastic and cosmetic surgeons use. The pictures used in this article are not the work of LSL and yet people will be led to believe that they are...that is not fair.

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  18. I was looking up LSL when I found this! Sure glad I read this first,THANK YOU!

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  19. I had my LSL on December 9, 2010. It was a torture chamber. What they told me would take an hour....was 4.5 hours. We stayed at a hotel next door so they said if I had any problems, I could just call. Well, we called, and a doctor 1 hour south of us took the call. I was throwing up and bleeding profusely from the eye area. The pain behind my ears was beyond imagination. He sounded very irritated and said, and I quote, "You are just going to have to tough it out for the next 10 hours. Nothing can be done tonight! I can't call in any stronger medication tonight." The pain was excruciating. I am now 10 months out....my left eye lid is too short and does not cover my eye when I blink. At night I have horrible dry eyes in both eyes. My scars behind my ears are big lumps. Both of my ears are misshapened I would NOT recommend LSL to anyone!!! By the way, when I went for my 4-month check (the 1st time seeing the doctor again), he said to me, "Just so you know, I am leaving LSL because I want to work in an atmosphere where my patients appreciate my work. LSL advertises like this is a "walk in the park" when in fact you had a full fledged facelift. Then, I have to face the patients and hear their horror stories."

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  20. Hi I had my procedure in Oct 2011 in St. Louis. I had a wonderful experience. The doctor was professional, very skilled and did exactly what he said he was going to do. I had a 30 day recovering and look 10 years younger. Don't be scared by all doctors in the ortganization. Do your own research.

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    1. Thank you so much! I want to see a more fair and balanced review of LSL. There is good and bad in cosmetic surgery and much of it i due to things that cannot be completely controlled because of the nature of surgical procedures. People have different expectations, heal differently and many times patients do not tell the truth about the medications they are on and other important issues. I have seen really impeccable and beautiful work from the LSL doctors. I am assuming that Dr. Farias did your work. He is great and he is one of the Doctors that I have considered in choosing my LSL Doctor. It is like any other surgery, you do need to choose a Doctor based on his reputation and references that the office will provide to you. I am sorry for anyone who has a bad experience, but I think even the best Doctors have patients who have difficulty or are not happy with their cosmetic surgeries. It is a difficult business even at its best.

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  21. I AM 74 YEARS OLD AND HAD MY LSL TWO WEEKS AGO. I HAVE OLIVE SKIN AND SO FAR I AM VERY SATISFIED. MY SCARS ARE VERY SMOOTH, I DID WHAT THEY TOLD ME TO DO, COLD AT FIRST AND THEN WARM. I WILL TELL YOU, SO FAR, MY PROGRESS IF GREAT. I LOVE LOOKING 15 YEARS YOUNGER....I AM VERY GLAD I WENT, AND WOULD DO IT AGAIN.
    JBJ

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    1. TWO WEEKS and you are healed and no visible scars how much did they pay you to post this.Shame on you.....

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    2. She said her scars are smooth, not that they are not visible. I think there are some trolls on this site that are stirring up a hate message. Maybe the one you need to target is the actual Doctor that did your work, not the network he is in. It is not fair to trash all of the Doctors that work in Life Style Lift offices because you are not happy with the work of your Doctor. They are all individually licensed Doctors. Many of them even have their own practices besides the facial work that they do with LSL. Come on, people! You know how this works. The Doctor is the one that is liable for the work that he does, so focus on that. I know that there have been Doctors that have been asked to leave the network, LSL does hold up a standard for the Doctors that they allow to use the name LSL.

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  22. You "happy ?eople" crack me up! How much are they paying you to post here, hmmm? They are unscrupulous, malignant bastards. Anyone promoting such a dangerous method, is unconscionable,and if you were? lucky? in actuality, then you shouldn't be caught dead recommending for fear something horrible could happen, given their track record. Too many people have been harmed to risk referring something like this and their advertisements are such a bunch of bogus crap as is their website. No truth to it whatsoever! And Ms Debbie Boone should be ashamed of herself, lending her song she said she had written for God, to such a divisive, unscrupulous group, who perform surgeries in non-sterile rooms, in dentists chairs...procedures which should only be performed in sterile surgical rooms. There are no indoor air quality standards anywhere in the country by law, except in Surgical Rooms. Do you know whats floating around in those buildings ductworks??? Or traveling around on people and their cloths that walk in and out of the rooms? What about NO SURGICAL SCRUB IN, NO SURGICAL PREP OF THE PATIENT!!! The stories are coming out from behind closed doors...and they are only allowed to operate in the states whose laws are lax enough. It's a growing National problem not only in the plastic surgery business, but in other areas of medicine as well and it does NOTHING but put our precious lives as RISK!!! CONTACT THE POWERS THAT BE AND VOICE YOUR OPINIONS OF THIS. THAT WE'RE SICK OF THEM DRAWING THEIR SALARIES ON OUR TAX PAYERS DOLLARS AND THEY'RE ALLOWING CRAP LIKE THIS CONTINUE TO BE OUT THEIR FOR US TO RUN IN TO! SERIOUSLY, THEY TOOK MERCURY OUT OF OUR THERMOMETERS, THEY MAKE US WEAR SEATBELTS, AND ON AND ON, AND THEY ARE LETTING CORPORATE MEDICAL GROUPS PERFORM SURGERY IN NON SURGICAL OFFICE BUILDINGS, NOT HAVING TO BE ACCREDITED AND UNDER ANY STANDARDS WHAT SO EVER! FIX IT DAMN IT!!! Their lying website and infomercials, for GOD SAKE, people, MAKE YOUR VOICES HEARD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SHUT THEM DOWN OR MAKE THEM HAVE TO CHANGE!!!!!!!!!

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    1. Same happened to me at Franklin, Tn. I also look like I have had a stroke. One side of my face has never matched other. Around my ears and jawline will not heal and I have wropy puff out places. Keep me updated on all that generates from this. Will check this sight regularly!

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  23. Why didn't I research this before letting them cut on me?i have a ulcerated sore they tell me will take 6 months to heal.I had my surgery not even a month ago.I will be getting a lawyer. Judy in California

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    1. Judy, do you know about the investigation the Calif. Attorney General has begun? Calling your state Attorney General and filing a complaint with the consumer affairs division and also the board of medical license, where they have record of disciplined doctors. File a complaint there about your Dr. Also copy, cc: the Florida Attorney General... the goal being having them investigated in every state where the laws are lax enough and they are allowed to operate. Let's roll. Don't beat yourself up about being suckered in. Just join the movement to get laws changed where groups like this will not be able to be in business.

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    2. I REQUEST ANY INFO ABOUT CLASS ACTION AGAINST THEM. I HAVE PERMANENT DAMAGE:TINNITUS. THEY MARRED ME FOR LIFE. I TRIED FOR OVER A YEAR TO SUE BUT ALL LAWYERS SAID IT COSTS TO MUCH TO SUE THEM UNLESS I FRONT THE MONEY. I CAN NOT. SO, I NEED A CLASS ACTION. PLEASE EMAIL INFO:blueturtles1312@netzero.com

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  24. Instead of painful and costly surgeries, check out a break through dietary supplement with liquid collagen. The results are amazing. It tightens sagging skin and softens lines and wrinkles. I'll be happy to email you un-retouched photos, company info, ingredients, award recognition, etc. You will also benefit internally because it's been clinically proven to help build cartilage, increase collagen in the body, lubricate joints and improve joint mobility, Please email me at: yal0904@gmail.com and enter 'Dietary Supplement' in the subject line. Thank you.

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  25. I had a LSL 5 years ago. It did what it claimed. I had an uncomfortable turkey waddle that I could feel jiggle every time I turned my head. It got rid of it.... at a cost. My right ear is permanently sewn to my head in back so that a hairdresser can't cut around my ears very well and my eyeglasses don't go down over the right ear. My earlobes are misshapen; a big scar appears behind both ears, one ruining my hair line, and I feel like I am wearing a party hat with a string under my chin 24/7. Forget a weekend out of commission as represented. Try two weeks. I had to have a revision because I developed this big purple, long lump on the side of my neck. The Dr. told me he'd just open that side and fix it. He did an entirely new procedure on both sides. Mine was a plastic surgeon, board certified; I checked his credentials, but I think he has nurses (girls in scrubs, nurses???) close. The place (Maitland, FL) was a surgery mill. My friend... who has the same complaints as me only hers didn't take at all and she still has a turkey waddle.. and I figured 10-12 procedures were done each day. At $5000+ each, that's a chunk of change. It's done in a dental chair as reported by others and with only valium as a sedative. There have been deaths at facilities here in FL. The procedure is probably fine, but it needs to be done in a sterile hospital room by board certified plastic surgeons with "real" nurses, not just girls wearing scrubs... but then it wouldn't be affordable as insurance doesn't cover cosmetic surgery. It's ok to do such a thing in an outpatient facility, but it should be legit with standby staff/equipment in case of emergencies. The current LSL sound uniformly, nationwide to be glorified dentist offices with doctors that are not necessarily cosmetic surgeons. Any kind of doctor, even a dentist, can be certified/qualified/trained/allowed to do this procedure. The medical community needs to tighten up their licensing. If someone's going to cut a person's face, then they need to be a trained, board certified, licensed facial surgeon. Even though I have awful scarring (people go to plastic surgeons to have scars removed/concealed, not added)and very uncomfortable ears, like I said, the turkey waddle did disappear and I do look younger than my age because of it. I did my homework on the doctor, still it wasn't enough.

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