VASER liposuction is a FDA-approved method of liposuction that uses ultrasound waves to first selectively break down fat deposits which are then removed by suction through a thin tube called a cannula. The technique can be less invasive than traditional liposuction with shorter downtime but is intended for stubborn areas of fat that are difficult to lose with diet and exercise and not for those wanting to significantly reduce their weight.
Below are starting prices per area for VASER liposuction across several countries.
VASER Liposuction is also known as VASER Ultrasonic liposuction or LipoSelection. VASER stands for Vibration Amplification of Sound Energy at Resonance.
It is a cosmetic procedure that can only remove subcutaneous fat below the skin and does not remove visceral fat (visceral fat is the type of fat wrapped around body organs that can increase your risk for various diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer).
During the most common type of liposuction, tumescent liposuction or Suction-Assisted Liposuction (SAL), a plastic surgeon will break down fat deposits manually by using a cannula pulled back and forth in the targeted area to separate the fat from the subcutaneous tissue while the fat is simultaneously being suctioned out through the cannula.
VASER liposuction first uses VASER probes inserted into the fatty tissue to gently break up and emulsify the fat cells through vibration using ultrasonic frequency waves. A specially-designed cannula is then inserted to remove the “melted” fat. This technique can allow the surgeon to target fat cells more accurately while protecting other surrounding tissue from damage and is the preferred type of liposuction for fibrous tissue (such as the type found in the male chest). The saline solution used during the procedure can also help reduce blood loss and bruising compared to traditional liposuction.
VASER Liposuction can be used almost anywhere on the body but is most suitable to removing stubborn pockets of fat that have not shifted with diet and exercise alone. It should not be used as an alternative to dieting and exercising and has a limit to the amount of fat that can be removed but it can help with sculpting and contouring the body to enhance its natural shape.
VASER Liposuction is powerful enough to use on the thighs, knees, abdomen, love handles and chest but also gentle enough to use on the arms, chin and neck.
VASER Liposuction can be done in combination with other treatments such as fat transfer for liposculpting (such as a Brazilian Butt Lift), abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), gynecomastia surgery (removal of enlarged breast tissue in males) or other skin lifts to remove excess skin if skin elasticity is too poor for it to “bounce back” on its own after the fat is removed.
VASER Liposuction can be done under local anaesthesia, sedation, or general anaesthesia depending on the number of areas being treated and the amount of fat being removed. When local anaesthesia with or without oral sedation is used, the surgery is generally performed as an outpatient procedure; if you have IV sedation or general anaesthesia, then you may need to stay overnight at the hospital or clinic. You and your surgeon will discuss what is best for your situation.
The surgery itself can last one to four hours, but the time at the center where the procedure is performed may last from three to seven hours. Here are the steps of a VASER Liposuction procedure.
You will meet with your surgeon to discuss your goals for doing the VASER Liposuction. The surgeon will mark the areas to be targeted on your body so they are clear during the procedure.
Under local anaesthesia, the areas to be targeted are first injected with a tumescent fluid. This is a special saline solution containing the local anaesthetic (usually lidocaine) that will numb the area of subcutaneous tissue receiving the liposuction and temporarily expands the volume of that area, which makes the fat cells easier to remove. The solution also shrinks local blood vessels and this can help with blood loss and bruising, two big contributors to post-surgical soreness.
3. Insertion of VASER probes through incisions
Small-diameter probes or wands are then inserted through small incisions (usually between 2-6 mm) that have been made in the target area. Different diameter wands can be used for different types of fat. The wand resonates at an ultrasonic frequency, shaking the fat cells loose, emulsifying them and allowing them to mix with the tumescent fluid.
4. Removal of fat cells
The emulsified fat cells mixed with the tumescent fluid are then suctioned out using specially-designed suction tubes (cannulae).
5. Post-operative and recovery phases
Following the procedure, the surgeon will advise on the best recovery regimen for you to promote skin retraction and smooth results. You will need to wear a compression garment for 2-6 weeks after treatment. Your surgeon may also suggest massage therapy to encourage lymphatic drainage, speed up your recovery, and enhance your results.
You should be able to get up and walk around on the same day of your procedure but you will be advised to rest for at least 12 hours and avoid any strenuous activity for 2-3 weeks. If you have young children, you should be able to lift them after 2 days depending on the areas treated and how you feel. You will experience some reasonable pain, discomfort and maybe bruising but this can usually be managed with painkillers. You can usually return to work in 3-7 days.
Some people immediately have noticeable results while others may not due to edema (accumulation of fluid in certain tissues of the body) which can take a few weeks to resolve. You should see your final results of the VASER Liposuction 2 to 4 months after your procedure.
Many people only need one treatment of VASER Liposuction to achieve their desired goal. Sometimes a touch-up session is needed or if you have several areas treated, it may be split into multiple sessions.
Assuming that you continue to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle, the fat is gone permanently once it’s been removed. If you do gain or lose weight after having VASER Liposuction, it should re-distribute proportionally throughout your body provided the weight gain is no more than 5% of your body weight.