Vaser Lipo Vs. Traditional Liposuction - What Are the Pros and Cons?

I am having a tummy tuck and liposuction on my flanks and thighs, my board certified plastic surgeon performs vaser lipo but the medical assistant says I am scheduled for traditional liposuction. I have a preop today and would like to address this topic. Your help is appreciated. I am 4'11 and weigh 110 pounds,I am a very hippy girl with a small waist. I have "saddlebags" and love handles along with a stretched out stomache due to my pregnancies. Is there a reason why an experience surgeon would prefere to perform regular lipo over vaser?

Doctor Answers 13

Which type of liposuction is best

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The best liposuction is the one attached to a good surgeon. I see many good and bad examples of liposuction that have nothing to do with the Machine--but everything to do with how much fat was removed or not resulting in divots or bumps,etc. Choose a good surgeon and forget about what machine he uses.

Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Vaser vs. Traditional Liposuction

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VASER is the latest evolution of devices using ultrasound to liquefy fat before it is removed from the body with suction.

VASER stands for Vibration Amplification of Sound Energy at Resonance, which basically means ultrasound. The name is catchy and sounds like LASER, which, by contrast, uses amplified light to dissolve fat.

Many of us prefer VASER because the ultrasound appears to be more highly selective in targeting and liquefying the fat, minimizing risks of injury to the blood vessels and nerves. This selectivity for liquefying the fat cells means less tearing and injury to surrounding tissue, resulting in less bleeding, bruising and pain.

Still, the most important element in your success from surgery is the surgeon, much more than the specific tool or technique. Experts do not always agree on technique, yet can produce consistently comparable results.

Paul C. Zwiebel, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

VASER lipo helpful for tougher fat

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With both VASER ultrasound and laser lipo procedures, the idea is to emulsify or liquefy the fat before suctioning it out. Soft fat doesn't require any additional treatment, but in areas where the fat is more dense because of more connective tissue, it can be helpful. Examples of this are the upper abdomen, posterior hips, and the front of the thighs. I agree with the others that the most important factor is the surgeon not the technology.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

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Vaser Lipo vs. traditional liposuction

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It is the decision of your surgeon which types or combination of types of LIPOS he is using on you. I prefer Smart Lipo + SAL but the Vaser will do the same thing.

Good Luck from MIAMI Dr. B

Vaser may make liposuction easier for the surgeon, but might not be the best choice

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There is alot of hype and marketing out there by the companies that make ultrasound or lasers to use for liposuction. The Vaser is one example of an ultrasound assisted device. Liposuction by itself is generally a strenuous operation for the surgeon. The human body is put together pretty firmly and quite a bit of force is needed to move a cannula in the space under the skin where the fat is. The Vaser uses ultrasonic energy to break up the fat so the surgeon can do a second pass and suction it out.

There is no question that the suctioning is easier after the Vaser has been used, but there is a down side too. The procedure may take longer as the Vaser requires two treatment passes, first the emulsification pass and the second to go over all the same area with the suction. Also, the Vaser makes things hot which can cause burning of the skin and more irritation of the tissues. Early studies showed that there were more complications than with standard liposuction too. Now Vaser does help in very firm, fibrous tissues such as the back or the male breast, but is of questionable use, in my opinion, in soft places like the thighs.

Vaser and now the new laser lipo machine makers claim that their machines can give skin tightening, but there are no scientifically controlled studies that prove this. They also claim that they cause less bruising or blood loss, and this may or may not be the case. Good tumescent technique with standard liposuction probably does the same thing. Remember, no matter what the manufacturers claim, any procedure that involves putting intruments under the skin is a surgery, will have bleeding and risks of complications. I would have liposuction of the body done only by a board certified plastic surgeon and I would trust his or her choice of device.

Elizabeth Slass Lee, MD
Bay Area Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Vaser liposuction versus traditional liposuction

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As compared to traditional liposuction, vaser liposuction involves the utilization of sound waves to break up fatty tissue. Laser liposuction, in comparison, uses a laser light to break up fatty tissue. Currently I like the laser-assisted liposuction for many cases but my decision about what type of liposuction to use is always made on a case by case basis after examining and talking at length with my patient. If you've found a surgeon you have confidence in, I imagine he or she will perform your surgery very nicely with the tools he or she is most comfortable and adept with.

Deason Dunagan, MD
Huntsville Plastic Surgeon


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There are several techniques of liposuction each with its own pluses and minuses. In the end, it is not the type ot machine that is used but how talented your surgeon is at the technique. They all can produce similar results.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

VASER Lipo versus Tumescent lipo

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Hi there-

While I absolutely believe that the VASER is a very effective and safe option for many people, it is also absolutely true that there are certain situations where the VASER represents only a minimal benefit to the patient, with significant added expense.

In my own practice, I usually explain to patients in these situations that I believe the benefit of using the VASER to address their problems would be limited, what the cost of doing so would be, and I let them make the decision.

It is possible that your surgeon feels the VASER would not benefit you very much and he/she is trying to save you some money. I don't think there is anything wrong with you asking what the thought process behind the plan is.

(Tumescent) Vaser Liposuction vs. Traditional Tumescent Liposuction

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Both Tumescent (aka "traditional") Liposuction and VASER (aka Liposelection) Liposuction use tumescent solution to decrease bruising, increase accuracy and provide comfort after liposuction.

The VASER has a, intermediary stage before liposuction in which sound waves are used to break up the fat cells before the liposuction is conducted. This adds additional time and cost to the operation. BUT - the VASER is extremely valuable in fibrous areas, the back, men breasts etc. It has benefits in that it provides an airbrush like fat removal with less bruising. But is not essential everywhere.

There is nothing wrong with clarifying what procedure you will be having with your surgeon. I am sure he would not mind.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

#Liposuction, Surgeon's Choice

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VaserĀ® is very precise and takes more time to perform.  More time in the OR is going to equal more cost to you.  More than likely, the conversation you had with your surgeon regarding your goals and your budget were key determining factors in the surgeon's choice to go with traditional lipo.  Nonetheless, review your concerns with your surgeon and make sure you are getting what you want.  VaserĀ® produces an overall better and more beautiful result with less downtime than traditional liposuction and less disruption to the surrounding tissues.

Robert J. Schwartz, MD
Richardson Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 16 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.