Lifestyle Lift got a huge amount of - largely uncritical - media coverage a couple of years ago, heralding it as a one-hour procedure that gave face lift results without actually being a face lift. Within a year, internet forums were packed with angry and distraught women whose Lifestyle Lift experience clearly hadn't been want they expected. Since then, I'd assumed it had mostly disappeared. Until the other day, when I saw an advertisement for "the revolutionary Lifestyle Lift" in a woman's glossy.

The ad has very seductive before/after pictures and boasts that the procedure only takes an hour. Finding out precisely what the procedure is, proves difficult. The Lifestyle Lift website studiously avoids explanations.

Despite the implications that this is some kind of miracle procedure that can be performed under a local anesthetic and have you partying within a couple of days, Lifestyle Lift is a face lift combined, sort of, with a feather lift. Fat is removed and face and neck skin is repositioned. Sutures are inserted to help hold up the muscle. In this case, they are permanent (not the dissolving kind) and they do not have the 'barbs' that the feather lift threads have.

How anyone could endure such a thing while still being awake is beyond me (but then I beg for a general whenever I have my teeth cleaned). The downtime for recovery does appear to be significant, although the Lifestyle Lift website promises that you will get back normal activities within a week. There will pain, ice packs will need to be applied every hour or so for the first couple of days and unless your "normal activity" is to lie in a darkened room avoiding all human contact including the UPS guy then you might want to give it a bit longer than a week (some women report that it has taken them three weeks to recover).

Unhappy recipients of this procedure report wildly different problems. Some are disappointed by extremely subtle results, some claim they looked worse, the results lasted only six months or so before gravity started to win again, while many others complain about scarring and even botched surgery (there are gruesome pictures of sewn up ears). There are some happy customers (assuming they are genuine).

Overall, it seems that the quality of the surgeon makes a huge difference. And I guess that's really the point. This is plastic surgery by any other name and no one should be daft enough to think this is a mere lunch time procedure. If anyone is even vaguely considering this, I recommend browsing the message boards at realself.com