The Wall Street Journal reports that the company, which claims to offer a “minor one-hour procedure with major results,” abruptly shut down a majority of its 40 surgery centers Monday and announced it would consider filing for bankruptcy.
Lifestyle Lift, often featured in informercial-like advertisements claiming to allow consumers to “look as young on the outside as you feel on the inside,” specializes in less-invasive facelift procedures that require only local anesthesia and short recovery periods.
In a letter sent to employees over the weekend, Dr. David Kent – the founder of the company – said he made the “decision to temporarily cease operations until further notice.”
“The future of the Company is uncertain and therefore it is currently developing both a wind down plan to close the business and a reorganization plan to accommodate a new investment,” the letter states.
A spokesperson for Michigan-based Lifestyle Lift tells the WSJ that the company is considering its options, one of which is filing for bankruptcy.
As of Monday, Lifestyle Lift is only providing some post-operation checkup procedures.
Lifestyle Lift came under scrutiny back in 2008, when it engaged in a he-said, she-said lawsuit battle with online review site RealSelf.
The company sued RealSelf claiming trademark infringement after consumers posted negative reviews about their experience with the less-invasive facelift procedures. RealSelf subsequently countersued asserting the surgery center posted fake reviews to lure in more business.
The back-and-forth led to an investigation by the New York Attorney General’s office. In 2009, then-attorney general Andrew Cuomo announced Lifestyle Lift would pay $300,000 and stop publishing fake reviews.
At the time, Cuomo called the company’s business practices, “cynical, manipulative and illegal.”
Lifestyle Lift Shuts Down Most of Its Business, Considers Bankruptcy [The Wall Street Journal]