Awake Liposuction

Offered at our convenient location in Denver

Awake Liposuction Denver, CO

Awake liposuction is a cosmetic surgery that can provide the transformative effects of liposuction without the undesirable side effects of general anesthesia. It can address excess fat that has proven difficult to burn off through diet and exercise. The procedure utilizes liposuction techniques that reduce the intensity of traditional liposuction and eliminate the need for general anesthesia altogether.

At Millard Plastic Surgery, our team of expert cosmetic surgeons perform awake liposuction procedures for patients in the Denver area. Dr. John A. Millard leads his team of surgeons with uncompromised patient satisfaction in mind. To learn more about receiving an awake liposuction procedure at our Englewood location, call us at (303) 792-5665 or visit our contact page

About Awake Liposuction

Traditional liposuction involves removing excess fat from the body using physical force alone. A surgeon uses a tube-like tool called a cannula to manually break up the fat to break it up and prepare it for removal. This can be hard on the surrounding tissue that holds the fat cells in place, making the recovery process longer and less comfortable. It also necessitates the use of general anesthesia, as this process would be unpleasant for the patient if they were awake. 

Many liposuction patients do not want to go under general anesthesia and experience its disorienting after-effects. Fortunately, there are methods of liposuction that are easier on the body and therefore do not require the use of general anesthesia. The specialized method that Dr. Millard and his team prefer is called VASER liposuction. This technique involves applying ultrasound energy to the fat in order to break it up at a cellular level. This also serves to tighten the surrounding skin after surgery, making for better aesthetic results. (1) They inject the fat with a tumescent solution of epinephrine, lidocaine and saline. This fluid serves to numb the treatment area and prepare the fat cells by making them swell up and become firm. Treating the fat cells in this way prior to removal minimizes bruising and blood loss. (2) The combination of ultrasound energy and tumescent fluid reduces the impact on the body significantly. 

Benefits of Awake Liposuction

There are numerous benefits that come with receiving an awake liposuction procedure at Millard Plastic Surgery. These include:

  • Removing excess fat from the body at a lower cost
  • Avoiding nausea, constipation, and other side effects of general anesthesia
  • Leaving our facilities sooner without the need to recover from general anesthesia
  • Taking less time off for downtime and recovery
  • Achieving a slimmer silhouette and a fitter-looking physique
  • Regaining your confidence and self-esteem

Who is a Candidate for Awake Liposuction?

A good candidate for awake liposuction will want to get rid of the bothersome pockets of fat on their body without experiencing the effects of general anesthesia. Because awake liposuction uses specialized methods of fat removal and numbing, it is not suitable for every kind of liposuction procedure. The medications that we administer for the awake procedure do not last as long as general anesthesia, so it is only suitable to treat up to three separate areas of the body. 

To ensure that your awake liposuction procedure is successful, you should be in relatively good health. While this procedure requires less recovery protocol than others, you will still need to heal well. It will also help to have realistic expectations about what liposuction can do for you. It is not a weight loss solution, but rather a means to get rid of the excess fat that diet and exercise has failed to burn off.

Who is Not a Candidate for an Awake Procedure?

If you have red hair, you may naturally not be able to numb well with lidocaine, and we will recommend general anesthesia in these cases. Oftentimes people with a history of drug or alcohol use will require general anesthesia in order to reduce discomfort entirely. Also, if you want to treat more than 3 areas at once.

Personal Consultation

At your personal consultation, your surgeon will ask some questions about your medical history. It is important that we are aware of any past surgeries, conditions or prescriptions that may change the potential safety of your treatment. At Millard Plastic Surgery, our surgeons personally attend the consultations, so you can ask any questions directly to your surgeon. You can describe to us how you want your body to change, and we can tell you how an awake liposuction procedure can help. 

If we feel that you are a good fit for this treatment, you can schedule your procedure appointment and we will let you know how to proceed. To schedule your personal consultation, call (303) 792-5665 or fill out this form.


We will provide you with personalized preparation instructions that will detail potential changes to your prescription medications and lifestyle. Following these instructions carefully will help us in providing the best possible treatment and results for you. Before any cosmetic surgery, we recommend that you stop the use of anti-inflammatory medications, herbal supplements, and other dietary supplements such as vitamin E. These substances can have blood-thinning effects that may cause excess bleeding during surgery. If you smoke, you must quit before and after your surgery until you have completely recovered. Smoking can cause complications during surgery and negatively affect your ability to heal. 

Don’t forget to prepare your home for recovery. You may have limited mobility while you recover, so you should place everything within reach. Stock up on healthy food that will encourage healing. 

Awake Liposuction Procedure

At Millard Plastic Surgery, our awake liposuction procedure is an outpatient treatment, which means you can go home on the same day as your surgery. To initiate your treatment, we will give you a Valium or Halcion pill to ease your nerves throughout surgery. You can also use Pro-Nox during your surgery, a device that lets you self-administer a mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen to reduce stress. They will then inject the tumescent fluid directly into the pockets of fat. When the fluid has had enough time to numb your treatment area and prepare your fat, Your surgeon will apply the VASER ultrasound-energy device to your areas of treatment. they will use suction to remove the fat. They will carefully remove the fat cells to sculpt aesthetically optimal contours according to the area surrounding your fat. When the procedure is complete, you may go home whenever you feel ready.


Following your awake liposuction procedure, you may experience some redness and soreness around your incisions. These symptoms are common and should resolve themselves within a few days. If you feel discomfort during the healing process, we can prescribe medications that will help to alleviate this. You may return to work after about one week, and you can resume everyday activity when you feel ready. However, it may take several weeks to fully recover, so you should avoid strenuous activity until that time. 


Awake Liposuction Denver, CO

It is normal to have some swelling in your treatment area for several weeks, which will obscure the final results of your surgery. Despite the swelling, you will be able to notice a positive difference in your appearance immediately. You will have a slimmer body, with improved contours and a better silhouette overall. The results of your awake liposuction will be long-lasting, as fat cells do not come back once they are removed. Nevertheless, maintaining a steady weight will be an integral part of upholding the aesthetic appearance of your results. 

How Much Does Awake Liposuction Cost in Denver?

The cost of awake liposuction will depend on the details of your procedure, including the extent of your excess fat and how many areas need to be treated. For more information about awake liposuction at Millard Plastic Surgery, call (303) 792-5665 or contact us online.


How many areas of the body can be treated in a single awake liposuction procedure?

Because awake liposuction procedures utilize local anesthesia and other alternative numbing methods, we can only treat up to three areas of the body safely. Due to longer procedure times, liposuction treatment of more than three areas will require the use of general anesthesia.

When can I return to work after my awake liposuction procedure?

Recovering from an awake liposuction procedure requires less downtime than traditional liposuction with general anesthesia. Most patients return to work after one week of rest. 

Is awake liposuction painful?

Although you do remain awake during this procedure, you will not feel any pain. Our surgeons take great care to make sure that you receive an adequate amount of anesthesia before surgery begins. We also provide stress-relieving medication and Pro-Nox. 


  1. Tran BNN, Didzbalis CJ, Chen T, Shulzhenko NO, Asaadi M. Safety and Efficacy of Third-Generation Ultrasound-Assisted Liposuction: A Series of 261 Cases. Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. 2022;46(5). doi: 
  2. Venkataram J. Tumescent liposuction: A review. Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery. 2008;1(2):49. doi: