Awake Facelift

Offered at our convenient location in Denver

An awake full facelift is a surgical procedure that enhances your facial appearance without the need for general anesthesia. 

It is a revolutionary technique in the field of cosmetic surgery that offers patients an alternative to traditional facelift procedures. At Millard Plastic Surgery, we specialize in this innovative approach to facial rejuvenation, providing our patients with natural-looking results and a more youthful appearance.

Schedule a consultation with our triple board-certified facial surgery expert Dr. David Hendrick by calling (303) 792-5665 or contact us online to learn more about how an awake facelift can help you achieve your cosmetic goals. 

Before and After Photos

About Awake Facelifts

As we age, the structure of our face is subject to significant change. The skin weakens and sags, and wrinkles become deeper. (1)  To combat these issues, patients can consider a facelift. The procedure involves a surgeon making incisions in discrete locations around the face. They remove excess skin, fat, and tissue to tighten and enhance the face. Facelifts are a popular treatment, and they are the most powerful tool available for reducing the visual effects of aging. (2)

The awake facelift procedure is unique in that it does not involve the use of general anesthesia. Rather, it uses a combination of local anesthetic (lidocaine) and medications like Valium (diazepam) or Halcion (triazolam). This allows for a patient to remain awake and without discomfort during their procedure, as well as providing a smoother recovery.

Benefits of Awake Facelifts

  • Natural-Looking Results: Our approach to an awake facelift focuses on enhancing your unique features while maintaining a natural appearance. The goal is to achieve subtle yet significant improvements, ensuring that you look like a refreshed version of yourself.
  • Minimal Downtime: Unlike traditional facelift procedures, an awake facelift involves no general anesthesia, resulting in a quicker recovery process, and allowing you to resume your daily activities sooner.
  • Reduced Risk of Complications: By performing the procedure under local anesthesia rather than general anesthesia, the risks associated are significantly minimized. This ensures a safer surgical experience for our patients.
  • Long-Lasting Effects: An awake facelift provides long-term results that can last for many several years. While the aging process continues, the improvements achieved through this procedure will endure, allowing you to enjoy your youthful appearance for an extended period.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: Compared to more extensive surgical options, an awake facelift is a cost-effective solution for facial rejuvenation. This procedure offers significant benefits while being more affordable than traditional facelift techniques.
  • Option for Additional Procedures: An awake facelift can be combined with other procedures, such as blepharoplasty. This versatility allows for a comprehensive approach to facial rejuvenation, addressing multiple concerns simultaneously.

Who is a Candidate for an Awake Facelift?

An awake facelift is ideal for patients who wish to address signs of aging such as sagging skin, wrinkles, and loss of facial volume. It is also suitable for individuals who desire facial tightening and contouring. By using local anesthesia, patients can avoid the risks associated with general anesthesia while still achieving their desired aesthetic goals.

To be considered for an awake facelift, you should be in relatively good health. Your body needs to be able to heal and recover properly. The best candidates are non-smokers with realistic expectations and a positive attitude.

Personal Consultation

At your personal consultation, we will provide you with everything you need to know about  your surgery. We will review your medical history and assess your current bill of health to see if surgery is right for you at this time. We will examine the condition of your appearance and determine if an awake facelift can help you or if you might benefit from any additional procedures. We will discuss your cosmetic goals, and talk about what can be done to help bring you closer to them. With the information we gather we can create a personalized treatment plan for you and let you know what to expect moving forward. 

To schedule your personal consultation, call Millard Plastic Surgery at (303) 792-5665 or fill out this form


We will give you personalized instructions on how to best prepare for your awake facelift. This may include taking new prescription medications, or avoiding certain medications like NSAIDs. If you smoke, you should stop for at least four weeks before and after your surgery, as it can affect your ability to heal. It is important that you follow these instructions closely, so that your treatment is as safe and simple as it can be.

To prepare for your awake facelift, you should make sure that your home is recovery-friendly. You should have a safe environment that doesn’t require any heavy lifting or straining. Make sure you arrange time off work to recover properly and talk with your doctor about how much time they think you’ll need to rest at home. You should also arrange a ride to and from our facility for the day of your procedure. Even though you will not be receiving general anesthesia, you may still be disoriented from your surgery.  

Awake Facelift Procedure

Awake facelifts are typically performed as outpatient procedures, which means you can go home on the day of your surgery. You will prepare for your surgery by taking either Halcion or Valium and will wait for the effects to set in. Once they have, Dr. Hendrick will strategically administer local anesthesia. He will then place discreet incisions along the hairline or natural creases of the face. These incisions are designed to minimize visible scarring and allow for optimal access to the underlying facial structures. 

After the incisions are made, he will carefully lift and reposition the underlying facial tissues. This step helps to address sagging and restore a more youthful contour to the face. In certain cases, excess fat may be removed or redistributed to enhance facial balance and contours. This can help achieve a harmonious and natural-looking result. Once the underlying tissues have been repositioned, the skin will be gently pulled taut and any excess will be trimmed.


Recovery from an awake facelift will be quicker than a traditional facelift with general anesthesia. Right away, you will have an easier time returning to normal after your medication wears off. You can expect some visible swelling and bruising for the first two weeks. We will prescribe you medication to prevent infection and reduce discomfort. 

You should avoid strenuous activity and excessive jaw movement during this period. Most patients can return to work after two weeks. After three weeks, your swelling and bruising will become less noticeable. You will be able to return to light exercise at this point. After six weeks, you can resume strenuous activity.  


The results of your facelift will be partially visible immediately after your procedure, and they will become more and more apparent as your swelling goes down. You will be delighted by your more youthful appearance. Your fine lines and wrinkles will be less prominent, and your skin will be toned and tight. These results can last for as long as ten years or more. However, the effects of aging on your skin are inevitable, and you will develop looser skin and wrinkles as time goes on. It is common to receive additional facelift surgeries to maintain cosmetic results to combat the effects of aging. 

How Much Does an Awake Facelift Cost in Denver?

As every treatment plan is different, the cost of your awake facelift will be assessed after your personal consultation with Dr. Hendrick. To find out more about facelift surgery at Millard Plastic Surgery, call (303) 792-5665 or visit our contact page. 


Is a full facelift the right choice for me?

If you are experiencing sagging skin, deep wrinkles, jowls, or a loss of facial volume, a full facelift may be the ideal solution for you. During a personal consultation, your surgeon will evaluate your specific concerns and goals to determine if a full facelift is the most suitable option for you.

Can I get a facelift without going under general anesthesia?

Yes, you can get a facelift without going under. With an awake facelift, you can undergo the entire facelift procedure without the need for general anesthesia. It involves a doctor administering local anesthesia to numb the area of treatment before surgery. It also involves medications like Valium that will reduce any psychological discomfort. 

Does an awake facelift hurt?

Although you are awake during an Awake Facelift, your area of treatment is thoroughly numbed with medications like lidocaine. You are also given medication like Halcion that will ease your psychological discomfort. These steps ensure that you will not feel pain during your procedure.

Are there any non-surgical alternatives to a facelift?

While non-surgical treatments such as Botox, fillers, and laser resurfacing can offer temporary improvement, they cannot achieve the same level of comprehensive rejuvenation as a full facelift. These non-surgical alternatives primarily target specific concerns and do not address underlying muscle laxity or excess skin. 


  1. Pérez P, Hohman MH. Mid-Face Facelift. PubMed. Published 2023. 
  2. Hashem AM, Couto RA, Duraes EFR, et al. Facelift Part I: History, Anatomy, and Clinical Assessment. Aesthetic Surgery Journal. 2019;40(1):1-18. doi: