Vaser Liposuction Considerations

I am going in for several consultations next week with different doctors and want to know what qualifications, certifications and training to look for as well as important questions that I should ask so I know which doctor to go to.

How do you select a surgeon for Vaser Lipo and what are the questions to ask in the initial consultation?

Doctor Answers 5

Experienced plastic surgeon with solid artistic skills

Thanks for your question.

The Vaser is a form of liposuction that employs pulsed, low level ultrasound to break apart the fat cells. This permits the surgeon to use smaller instrumentation that allows for finer artistic sculpting.

Personally, I have been using the Vaser since 2000 and prefer it over standard liposuction techniques for my body contouring procedures. I observe less pain and faster recovery and downtime in our patients. I feel that my surgical outcomes are superior to other techniques. However, not all plastic surgeons use Vaser and can achieve comparable results with other methods.

So, the most important factor is not the medical device, but rather, the surgeon and his/her artistic skills. I would recommend that you see a board certified/eligible plastic surgeon who is experienced in body contouring, specifically some method of liposuction.

Ask about the number of years he/she has been in practice and the number of patients treated. Look at each surgeon’s results by reviewing their actual cases with before and after photographs. See if you can speak to their former patients. Check and verify the respective plastic surgeon’s training and experience. You may want to look into your state’s medical board of review to see if there are any complaints or board actions, and investigate the physician data bank for any malpractice suits.

At the end of the day, the right plastic surgeon should leave you with a solid feeling of comfort, reassuring that the right choice has been made! I hope you find this helpful.

Englewood Plastic Surgeon

There are basic considerations, and some more subtle ones...

Hi there- I think it's important to start with the basics you would check for in any physician- where did they go to school, where did they train, and for how long... The next tier of your research should be a bit more specific to the present goal- Are they board certified? By whom?

For this type of procedure I would definitely want my loved ones being operated on by a surgeon Board Certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery. This tells me that they completed a 5-8 year residency training program IN PLASTIC SURGERY (not in some other specialty), and that after this training, they passed a comprehensive and multi-year examination of their knowledge, judgement, and practice quality.

I think most people would agree that having a surgeon who learned to do liposuction (of any kind) over a period of years, under direct supervision by a board certified plastic surgeon, is more likely to give you the outcome you want than if performed by a doctor in another specialty who learned to do liposuction in a weekend course somewhere (no matter what machine they use).

Once you're comfortable that you are dealing with a surgeon Board Certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery (do ask- some doctors skirt this issue by telling you they are "board certified", but deliberately leave out by whom), ask how many cases they have done with the VASER. Experience with the device in question is important, but not nearly as important as the above.

Finally, it is very important to realize that while the VASER is a fantastic tool (I personally believe it is the safest and most effective tool for improving the body contour available- and I have used them all), it is the surgeon at the end of the instrument that will matter most to your outcome.

Too often I meet patients who seem to think that the machine is most important- when nothing could be more wrong. Think of it this way- if I put you behind the wheel of Michael Schumacher's Formula 1 racecar, do you think you would win any races? I doubt it. It's a very nice car, and certainly a factor in his success, but let's be honest- the driver is more important. This is really not much different- The VASER is an awesome tool, but having a surgeon who knows how to use it effectively and safely is more important. I hope that helps you. Good luck in achieving the body contour you dream of!

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

Liposuction options: how to decide?

The first thing to keep in mind is that liposuction is surgery, and should be done in an accredited surgical facility. In the interest of patient safety, plastic surgeons decided about 12 years ago to only work in properly accredited facilities, so choosing a surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery tells you that not only is the doctor qualified but the place where the procedure is to be done is properly licensed. The most important part of the whole process is the doctor, not the technology. VASER is a great option but all of the high-tech devices including VASER ultrasound and laser add some risk to the procedure so experience and training are critical.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Vaser Liposuction- items to consider

First and foremost, be certain that the surgeon you are consulting with is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Anything less than board certified and you are risking your health and safety.

Secondly, I would ask about how many VASER procedures they have done & how experienced they are with this type of liposuction. Ultimately your final results will boil down to your unique goals, and the skill of your surgeon, so it’s important to choose a surgeon with experience in the type of procedure you are considering.

Third, it would be wise to view before & after photos of the surgeon’s previous work. Vaser is different from traditional liposuction in that it uses ultrasonic energy to melt fat, which is then removed with a traditional liposuction technique .

It’s often used for body contouring procedures and in areas where a small amount of fat needs to be removed… which means it requires more skill from the surgeon. Before and after photos can help you to make an informed decision, coupled with the other suggestions I have listed.

Finally, trust your instincts; did you feel comfortable & well cared for when visiting with this doctor? Was he/she honest & open with information and answers to your questions? Did this seem like someone you can trust? All of those questions are important to ask yourself when consulting with a surgeon, and if you’re not 100% comfortable it might be wise to keep looking until you are.

Scott W. Mosser, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Choosing a Plastic Surgeon to Perform Vaser Liposuction

VASER liposuction is an ultrasonic liposuction technology which means it uses ultrasonic energy (high-energy sound waves) to emulsify fat. Emulsification turns fat from a solid form into liquid; the liquefied fat is then aspirated using a suction cannula.

In my experience, this technique is not only more efficient at fat removal than conventional liposuction, but also more selective (i.e. it disrupts fat cells but not blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue) and as a result it is less traumatic. I see less swelling, less bruising and less patient discomfort postoperatively. I also see more skin and soft tissue retraction over the long term than is generally produced by conventional liposuction, which can make an enormous difference in the overall postoperative result.

Ultrasonic liposuction is also without question the ideal technology for treatment of densely fibrous areas like the back, the post-tummy tuck abdomen, the breasts (male and female) and previously suctioned areas. Of the ultrasonic liposuction systems available today, I believe that VASER system is the most sophisticated.

I trained for 10 years after medical school to become a plastic surgeon. It is absolutely remarkable to me that anyone would consider having liposuction surgery with a doctor who has no formal surgical training whatsoever. Many savvy people end up in the wrong hands because physicians can describe themselves as cosmetic surgeons or in some cases even plastic surgeons without having completed a plastic surgery training program.

Liposuction is serious surgery, just like other plastic surgery procedures. Check on your physicians training, background and hospital priveleges to perform the procedure that is of interest to you.

Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 118 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.