VASER LIPO - What's the Difference? by: Vincent Lepore MD

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You know about Liposuction, but you’ve been hearing about other ‘kinds’ of Liposuction. How do you know what to do?
We’ll give you some answers – focusing on one of the names associated with liposuction: VASER

WHAT DOES ‘VASER’ MEAN?

First, Vaser is a brand name for a specific liposuction machine. Starting with its technical meaning, “Vaser” is actually an acronym for; “Vibration Amplification of Sound Energy at Resonance.” (You can see why the company shortened it.)

But, you can also get a sense from the description that it’s a technique using ultrasonic energy to assist in the performance of liposuction.

HOW DOES VASER LIPO WORK, AND WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?

Liposuction, in various forms, has been utilized for a long time to remove fat in small and large quantities. It’s especially helpful for fat removal in stubborn areas- the places that seem the hardest for people to reduce on their own through regular diet and exercise. Key places for Lipo are the abdomen, flanks/love handles and thighs, but also many other body areas including the neck, arms, chest, knees, and ankles.

The various forms of liposuction all remove fat, which is suctioned out during surgery through a cannula. Like other lipo forms, during Vaser Liposuction, a saline solution will be injected into the area being treated. (Tumescent liposuction)
  • Vaser adds the element of ultrasound. That is, sound waves that help break apart fat deposits.
  • While the fat is broken up and liquefied, the surrounding tissues are preserved.
  • The emulsified fat (fat cells and fluid) is removed (aspirated) through a small cannula.
  • The process provides a gentler method of removing fat, resulting in less trauma to surrounding tissues, blood vessels, and skin.
  • Vaser also uses the term “Liposelection” because the technique allows surgeons to be more selective and specific in contouring various body areas.
  • Skin-tightening– There is an added benefit with Vaser and other energy-assisted techniques, in toning the skin. The overlying skin layers may be ‘tightened’ over the areas that have just been reduced through liposuction. (This is a subtle result, and is not something that would resolve a large area of loose skin, such as a post-bariatric skin tightening. That requires a skin excision and tightening.)

DO I HAVE TO HAVE ANESTHESIA?

You will need some form of anesthesia. Local injections can be used if you’re only having a very small area treated. Larger areas will require general anesthesia. 

WHAT ARE THE RESULTS?

In addition to reducing fat, Vaser tends to produce a ‘less traumatic’ result. All forms of surgery can and do cause bruising. Since Vaser technology is a gentler method of extracting fat, in most cases, the amount of bruising is minimized, and recovery may be more comfortable and quicker.
Recovery times will vary, of course, since you may have a very small area treated, or large, and multiple areas. In general, we advise patients to refrain from exercise for several weeks, at least. Again, depending on the treatment areas, you may be wearing compression garments or bands for a number of weeks. Patients with jobs that are not physically strenuous, may return to work, usually, within several days.
The visual results can be dramatic, or subtle. 
Article by
San Jose Plastic Surgeon