Dr. Durkin’s Facelift Technique

Our most sought after procedure at Ocean Drive Plastic Surgery is the OCEAN DRIVE® limited incision facelift.   After years of experience, Dr. Alan Durkin, our Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, has developed a proprietary limited incision facelift called, the OCEAN DRIVE® Facelift. Dr. Durkin’s limited incision facelift technique is designed to provide the best possible result to the midface, lower face, and neck without the use of large, prominent incisions. The OCEAN DRIVE® Facelift involves an incision that is less than half the normal incision used to undertake a facelift, but it allows Dr. Durkin to provide comprehensive rejuvenation to the midface and lower face through comprehensive elevation of the SMAS layer.

SMAS Limited Incision Facelift

With the exception of the face, every muscle in the human body connects one bone to another. For example, your bicep muscle attaches your upper arm bone (humerus bone), to your lower arm bone (radius bone). When your bicep contracts, your elbow moves because the muscle acts as a “lever” across the elbow, lifting the lower bone. The human face, however, is completely different. In the face, the facial muscles attach from the facial bones to the facial skin! This allows us to reposition the skin, a process we call “facial animation”. There are 43 separately named muscles in the human face, and all of them allow for motion of facial skin, or for mastication.

What is the SMAS?

As the facial muscles travel from bone to skin, they pass through an incredibly important tissue layer called the Superficial Musculo-Aponeurotic System, or SMAS, for short. The SMAS layer allows for efficient motion of the facial muscles by strengthening their insertion as they travel towards skin. One of the cornerstones of any modern facelift is rejuvenation and tightening of the SMAS layer.

Our limited incision facelift technique, developed by Dr. Durkin, allows for comprehensive elevation of the SMAS layer. The lift procedure is designed to place maximal tension on the underlying SMAS layer without disturbing or distorting the muscle planes below. As well, by placing the tension on the SMAS layer, Dr. Durkin is able to minimize any tension on the visible skin, which avoids that un-natural “windswept look” that all facelift patients dread. This is our secret to natural, long-lasting results in facelifting procedures. We have created an internal lift vector based on your own anatomy that allows us to rejuvenate your face without excessively pulling your skin.

Before Facelift

Before Facelift
Before facelift by Dr. Alan Durkin.
See Before Patient Facelift
Before facelift.

After Facelift

After Facelift
After Facelift by Dr. Alan Durkin
After Limited Incision Facelift
After facelift. This 86 year old patient underwent a limited incision facelift with SMAS by Dr. Alan Durkin.
Before Facelift
Before Facelift
Facelift Before
Facelift Before
After Facelift
After Facelift
Facelift After
Facelift After

The previous photos shows  examples of how tightening of the SMAS elevates and naturally rejuvenates the cheek area, jawline, and neck without looking like you just walked out of a wind-tunnel. The entire face maintains normal function and harmony with a small, un-noticeable incision. This procedure allows both men and women to regain a more youthful face without giving up their natural appearance and sense of presence.

Incision Location

When you get the OCEAN DRIVE® limited incision facelift, Dr. Durkin hides your incision within the lateral hairline, and placed inside your ear canal. Not all surgeons place an incision in this way because it requires time and advanced surgical techniques because behind the ear, Dr. Durkin’s incisions are placed within the crease between the ear and scalp skin. The use of an incision within the ear canal provides a superior postoperative result, and effectively hides any evidence that you have had a surgical facelift. This is one of the many differences of having your facelift in Dr. Durkin’s skilled and highly experienced hands.

Will it look Natural?

Dr. Durkin believes in tailored care to each person. We find that the overwhelming majority of people want to look natural and younger. Most people want to re-capture what their face has lost over time, without distorting their natural features. Our technique for facelift starts with a comprehensive facial evaluation of patient goals, anatomy, and skin quality. Our goal with every facial intervention is to maximize your outcome without any sacrifice of comfort or safety. We firmly believe in the “lift and fill” concept of facial plastic surgery.

Modern techniques now allow us to safely and reliably graft fat cells to the face for rejuvenation. Imbued within each fat graft, we are able to harvest small aliquots of pluripotent stem cells during the fat harvest. During injection, fat cells and stem cells populate the area, providing internal volumization, as well as an overall softening of the appearance. The OCEAN DRIVE® Facelift strongly features the rejuvenative properties of structural fat grafting. By combining the benefits of two techniques (SMAS elevation in facelifting, and Fat Grafting for facial filling), our philosophy of delivering natural results in the safest possible fashion is clear.

We will use only the finest, most advanced techniques available for surgical and nonsurgical facial therapy. We will employ only materials made and manufactured in the United States, and we will offer our services while emphasizing our belief in customer service, and in delivering the Ocean Drive Experience.

Will my Skin Look Pulled Back?

Technique, experience, and technology. By placing minimal tension on the skin edges, while maximizing SMAS pull, we keep the skin in its natural orientation, with its natural degree of tension. By combining fat grafting, and/or dermal filler therapy with facelifting, Dr. Durkin is able to use multiple tools to maximize outcomes and natural results, rather than having to rely on a single technique. Experience in facial aesthetic surgery is crucial to outcome. Our most popular procedure has always been the Ocean Drive Facelift. Because of its outstanding results, minimal discomfort, and limited down time, our facelift procedure offers the finest in surgical facial rejuvenation.

Diagram SMAS Facial Layer
Limited incision facelift diagram showing how the SMAS layer is elevated as a flap and lifted into a more youthful position under your skin.

Facelift Thoughts

Facelift Menu of Services

  • Limited Incision Facelift

    Look as young as you feel.

  • MACS Facelift

    Not ready for a full facelift and want something more than injectables? Read about MACS facelifts.

  • Fat Grafting for Face

    Fat grafting is an organic solution to restore volume and not contourng of your face.

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