Anesthetic Wears off During VASER Liposelection Procedure

The anesthetic wore off during the VASER Liposelection procedure, so the doctor stopped using the suction due to pain. He only withdrew 600CC. Does this happen in most VASER Liposelection procedures?

Doctor Answers 11

Why would an Anesthetic Wear Off during Liposuction

A true professional should not only know HOW to perform a job competently but also know WHICH TOOLS he would need to use to perform it EFFICIENTLY.

A REAL Plastic surgeon can use Tumescent liposuction under:
- Local anesthesia
- Local anesthesia with sedation pills
- Local anesthesia with intravenous sedation (Twilight) anesthesia

when a person goes to a physician (non Plastic surgeon) who cannot go to a hospital or certified facility because of their training, he will be forced to have the anesthesia that Doctor (hopefully) is LIMITED to using in his office/facility. In effect, if all a doctor can give you is local anesthesia with some pills for sedation REGARDLESS of the magnitude of the liposuction job or your level of anxiety - you are stuck.

Liposuction should be relatively to completely painless. I suspect your liposuction may have been significantly compromised by a physician who was limited in the selection of a better mode of anesthesia and as a result your liposuction experience was significantly compromised.

Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 108 reviews

The goal is to make you as comfortable as possible.

During any liposuction procedure, local anesthetic is injected with the tumescent solution. For minor liposuction cases, this is adequate. However, if you are having large volumes of liposuction, then deep sedation or general anesthesia is recommended. It sounds like your surgeon was just being safe - looking after your best interest - and terminated the surgery instead of endangering you with too much medication.

I hope this is helpful.

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 75 reviews


It sounds like you had your procedure performed in an office setting under local, or your surgeon was otherwise limited in his ability to give you more medication. While small amounts of liposuction can often be successfully performed in these settings, true and significant sculpting of the body is fairly uncomfortable and for that reason I always recommend to my patients that we do this under anesthesia (either heavy sedation supervised by an anesthesiologist or general anesthesia). Not only does this make it possible to remove more, but the final outcome in the body contour is much better, because I have found that when I am not worrying about the pain my patient may be experiencing, I am able to better concentrate on what she has paid me to do- give her the best shape possible. If I believe my patient is in pain, it is difficult for me to do my best work. This is not the result of the technique chosen for the surgery (it would have happened with any technique for liposuction), but rather, it resulted from your individual pain threshold, and the type and amount of anesthesia you had. Once you've healed and recovered, I would discuss it with my surgeon and see if a second procedure would help you achieve the desired outcome.

Armando Soto, MD, FACS
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 157 reviews

Anesthesia and Vaser

That is why I prefer doing liposuction under sedation as well. Eventhough anesthetic is injected into the subcutaneous tissue, there may still be sentivity in some areas that did not get adaequate infiltration. For both the patient's comfort and better more controlled results, I prefer sedation for my patients.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

A cosmetic procedure should ideally be as pain free as possible -zero discomfort is impossible

It is the responsibility of your surgeon to provide as comfortable an experience as possible for your cosmetic procedure. His/Her judgement will determine the type of anesthesia that is appropriate.

Your experience of pain during a procedure is unfortunate but not uncommon. It has nothing do to particularly with liposuction, liposelection or VASER. Rather, there was an insufficient level of anesthesia provided to keep you comfortable during your procedure, and perhaps to allow your surgeon to complete the procedure.

You should discuss your concerns at your postoperative visit.

David J. Levens, MD
Coral Springs Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 74 reviews

Anesthesia Wore Off

The short answer to your question is "no." The longer answer is "No, the anesthesia doesn't wear off in most cosmetic procedures if the physician is (A) skilled and (B) experienced because he or she has done the procedure numerous times and knows how much anesthesia is likely to be required.

I have to wonder who you hired to perform this procedure and I must say that I suspect it might be a physician who hasn't performed enough of them to know better. I can only hope the physical outcome is better than the experience with anesthesia.

To your health and beauty,

Dr. Paul Vanek, Double Board Certified Cleveland area Plastic Surgeon, Mentor, OH

Paul Vanek, MD
Cleveland Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Pain during liposuction

Each individuals reaction, tolerance and metabolism of the oral sedation and local anesthetic is somewhat unpredictable and that is why the best approach to large volume or large area liposuction is to have the procedure performed in an accredited facility under IV sedation and monitoring. safety and comfort are paramount to achieving the optimal cosmetic result. Also, VASER settings have a great deal to do with how much thermal energy is being transferred to the treatment area and the subsequent burn and the resulting discomfort. Liposuction as with all cosmetic surgical procedures should be performed by a highly skilled and experienced SURGEON in an accredited facility with monitoring. The Klein solution is not the "tumescent solution" if it is not used in adequate volume to create true tumescent which then facilitates less traumatic liposuction. 

Edwin Ishoo, MD
Cambridge Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Wide awake liposuction not always comfortable

Having liposuction performed while you are wide awake requires a delicate balance between pain control, comfort and safety.  I don't think that you should have large areas treated unless your surgeon has someone to administer sedation and pain control.  Small areas can be treated under local, but it is asking a lot of the patient to lie still for extended lengths of time while multiple areas are being treated..

Have a frank discussion with your surgeon.  These days, anesthesia providers have your safety in mind and are very skilled in maintaining a safe environment.  Your surgeon wants you to have a great result and a safe experience.

Emily Pollard, MD
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Plan well

That you experienced pain during your procedure has little to do with Vaser and allot to do with your doctor not planning the operation well. If they omitted areas that you felt were to be treated, you have a legitimate gripe. Perhaps you should consult with someone who has more experience and knowledge.

Peter D. Geldner, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Anesthesia with VASER

The anesthesia wearing off during the VASER procedure is possible.  I have found a few patients who metabolize the local anesthesia very quickly, so that they are initially comfortable, but then begin to feel pain.  Usually, adding more local anesthesia will alleviate the pain if it wears off.  Using oral sedatives like Valium and Xanax also helps to calm the patient.

I usually ask the patient at their initial consultation how they do with anesthesia at the dentists office for dental work.  If the patient says they have to be injected several times in their mouth for dental work, then they will probably have the same problem with VASER done under local anesthesia.  If I am planning on liposuctioning a lot of areas, I will recommend to the patient that they have the procedure under IV sedation or asleep with general anesthesia.

Stanley Castor, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 115 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.