In case no one has told you lately, the Internet can be a powerful forum for disseminating information about the pros and cons of our industry. For example, the myriad of "doctor review" sites — perhaps best exemplified by and — are di regeur these days. They fill a need, for sure. However, I don't pay as close attention to these sites as the ones that review actual surgical procedures or specific businesses/practices that have caused customers some grief.

Two controversial subjects that I have been following — the procedure known as the "lifestyle lift" and the American Laser Clinics medspa franchise — are well-represented in opinionated blogs and consumer complaint discussion forums. And, in the case of American Laser Centers, the physician community has tracked the firm's allegedly questionable practices on the MedicalSpa MD forum.

In an ongoing series titled American Laser Clinics Part 1: Armed guards & threats, MedicalSpaMD has collected a series of posts detailing how it came to be that one of the clinics hired an armed guard to prevent a physician from seeing his own patients. As the discussion thread continues, the wealth of information about this firm's sales and medical practices will probably make your jaw drop. Also check out American Laser Centers Complaints and this site.

As for the lifestyle lift, there's one well-done news report on the pros and cons of this procedure, which for the most part have been submitted by patients who had unfavorable outcomes, although you can find positives among the "hate mail." Check out True Stories Of The Lifestyle Lift and the lifestyle lift section of Infomercial Scams. The latter site provides an extensive "defenses" section in addition to the patient complaints area.