Does vaser lipo hurt under local aneasthetic?

I'm having vaser lipo on 4 areas - flanks, sides, upper and lower abdomen. The surgeon has said I'll be fine under a local anaesthetic without sedation, just some pre-med like diazepam. I know everyone has different pain thresholds but can anyone tell me what it has felt like for them? Thanks

Doctor Answers 3

Surgeon's Perspective

Having never had liposuction myself, I cannot answer from personal experience, however I have performed thousands of these cases under local sedation with just oral sedation ("awake"), so I will boil down my experiences as a surgeon for you.  Most (99.9%) of patients do just fine.  Usually, the only part that hurts a little is getting numb, but for most patients, even that is not too bad.  For women who have had natural childbirth, it is usually nothing in comparison to that.  Men are generally a little bit more whiney (being a man, I can say that, lol), but most men do just as well as the ladies.  During the liposuction procedure itself, there is usually no pain, however, occasionally there may be small areas that hurt a tiny bit.  Towards the end of the procedure, sometimes there can be minor pain (like a 2 or 3 out of 10, if 10 is the worst pain one can imagine), as the fat layer is reduced and it becomes more likely that the surgeon could brush against the abdominal muscles, which are not numb.  Vaser, compared to some other liposuction modalities, is a bit more gentle and is probably better tolerated in an awake patient.  You should do just great; best of luck! 

Does vaser lipo hurt under local aneasthetic?

Hello LL88 - Thanks for your question. I perform a lot of VASER in my office under these exact conditions. I have found that patients are actually very comfortable when using Lidocaine tumescent anesthesia and Valium. I do typically wait a little longer after injecting the local, and I add a little more than I would under general anesthesia. Also, my liposuction technique is more gentle on awake patients because I fear sudden movements of the patient causing injury. My safety record is perfect as a result.  If you do well at the dentist with procedures performed under local anesthesia, you will probably do just fine. Good luck, Dr. Shah 

Manish H. Shah, MD, FACS
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Vaser Liposuction under Local

I have a staff member that has had this procedure under local and has reported it to be quite uncomfortable. It was reported to me that the initial part of the procedure, which is the tumescent, stung pretty significantly and as the numbing wore off there were sharp, burning sensations. As you stated, pain perception varies from person to person. If you have a high pain tolerance, you may do well.  In my experience I have to compromise my result when doing it under local, as I am fighting the person, as well as the anatomy. 

I hope this helps and best of luck with your surgery. 

Javad Sajan, MD

Javad Sajan, MD
Seattle Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

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