You’ll most likely hear about VASER liposuction from your doctor’s recommendations or from previous patients.

VASER liposuction is a body contouring procedure. Different doctors may have varying preferences between VASER and laser liposuction based on specific patient needs and circumstances.

This guide will present information and knowledge about VASER liposuction to prospective patients.

While this guide may help you to learn more about the procedure, you should not make a decision based on this article alone. Always have several consultations with your doctor before making a final decision.

What is VASER liposuction and laser liposuction?

VASER liposuction is a procedure that uses ultrasound energy to remove fat cells from certain parts of the body.

VASER liposuction uses the emulsification process to assist in removing fat cells from the body. This means that fat cells are “liquefied” before being removed from the body which does not significantly damage surrounding tissues.

vaser after suctioning

VASER liposuction, when performed by a qualified practitioner, can be one of several options to address areas of fat that might be resistant to diet and exercise.

VASER liposuction, a minimally invasive procedure, may produce visible results, but individual outcomes can vary. Minimally invasive means that the procedure is done with tiny incisions instead of large cuts. This means that there will be minimal scarring as well as drastically reducing the risks of surgery.

Laser liposuction uses heat energy from fibre-optic lasers to burn and melt the fat cells. The fat is then suctioned out from the body once it is melted.

Related: Our Liposuction Options for Patients

Modern laser liposuction is also a minimally invasive procedure. However, laser liposuction is not as efficient at separating the fat cells because the heat delivered is only at the top of the probe, whereas with VASER liposuction the heat is delivered from the tip and the side of the probe.

How does VASER liposuction work?

VASER liposuction uses ultrasound energy to liquefy and remove fat cells from your body.

First, the area to be treated (like your tummy) is filled with a special saline solution that acts as a numbing agent around the area. This solution also expands the fat cells in the target area; think of your fat cells as balloons which expand as water (the saline solution) is added to it.

The expansion of the fat cells achieves two things:

  • It allows for easier removal of the fat cells.
  • The surrounding tissues in the target area are not significantly damaged. For example, the blood vessels in the target area will shrink due to the saline solution which reduces bruising and blood loss.

Next, a small ultrasound probe is passed under the skin. This probe uses suction to remove the expanded fat cells. Only the fat cells are removed in this step which is one of the advantages of VASER liposuction.

After the fat is removed from the target area, the procedure is done and the patient will go into the recovery period which will be suggested by your doctor.

What are the differences between VASER liposuction and traditional laser liposuction?

The main difference between the two procedures is that traditional laser liposuction uses very focused thermal energy to destroy the fat cells in the body.

A laser liposuction probe only emits thermal energy at the end of the probe which causes an intense level of heat. As the laser is focused on one point only, it has a higher risk of burns the surrounding vital tissues may be burnt and subsequently injured by the intense heat.

VASER liposuction, on the other hand, emits energy uniformly. This means that instead of having one end of the probe with high energy, the energy is distributed evenly around the whole probe. This allows the VASER to liquefy the fat cells more efficiently than laser allowing the doctor to take out more fat cells compared than with laser liposuction.

A helpful analogy would be that traditional laser liposuction is like cigars while VASER liposuction is like lightbulbs. Cigars emit intense heat only at the tip of the cigar while a lightbulb radiates heat uniformly around its surface.

Sciton laser fiber

The old laser liposuction probe with heat emitting at the tip

Laser probe

Laser probe

VASER probe

VASER probe

Another difference is that the ultrasound energy of VASER liposuction is transformed primarily into vibration energy. The vibration “shakes” the fat cells which cause the fat cells to separate and mixed with the solution that was administered prior to the surgery, also known as emulsification.

Emulsification in VASER liposuction is the process where fat cells are turned from solid into liquid form with the help of the vibration energy.

The vibration energy in VASER liposuction aims to target fat cells, but as with any medical procedure, there can be variations in how tissues like blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissues respond. There is less risk of skin burns with VASER liposuction. This means the VASER can be used just under the skin to give the definition needed for VASER high definition.

Another difference between the two procedures is that fat cells that are removed in VASER lipo can be re-used in other parts of the body e.g for fat transfer procedures like BBL (Brazilian Butt Lift). The fat that is removed in laser liposuction cannot be re-used as the fat cells are destroyed by the heat from the laser. Vaser is also better at skin tightening because of the uniform heat delivery.

Is VASER liposuction and laser liposuction safe?

As the procedure is minimally invasive, there will be reduced risks of complications or injuries during the procedure.

At Cosmos Aesthetics, we safely administer local anaesthesia with light sedation during the surgery. You will not be subject to the risks and dangers of general anaesthesia.

Modern laser liposuction procedures are also safer. However, because the intense heat from the lasers is only focused on one point, you may have uneven final results.

The risks of burning your tissues are also present in laser liposuction. Different tissues in the treatment area react differently to the heat of the laser. Some tissues denature faster than other tissues which can cause the burning and charring of these tissues.

Laser liposuction also poses the risk of 3rd-degree burns. 3rd-degree burns may happen if the heat from the laser is not handled properly; these burns are painful and leave scars that are almost permanent.

Am I a good candidate for VASER liposuction?

You should have realistic expectations and a positive outlook on your surgery. Your doctor may decline your requests if your motives for surgery are not viable.

In general, VASER liposuction may be an option for you if:

  • You are at or near your ideal body weight. VASER liposuction is NOT a weight loss procedure; hence, you’d need to be at a weight that is safe for the surgery to go through.
  • You are in relatively good health. You will need to have a healthy body in order to reduce the risks of surgery. If you have an illness, your doctor will give you advice on what to do next.

What should I expect or prepare for the surgery?

Before the surgery, you are expected to go through a series of consultations with your doctor. Your consultations are important in order to set our realistic goals and expectations for your surgery. You will also be given suggestions based on your needs and your suitability for the surgery.

You are also recommended to live a healthy lifestyle at least 4 weeks before the surgery. Your doctor may recommend you to eat a healthy diet and perform regular exercise to prepare your body for the surgery. You will also be asked to limit or completely stop your intake of alcohol and cigarettes in preparation for the surgery.

Days before the surgery, you will go through a final meeting with your doctor to finalise your decision. You will also be asked to sign a consent form which is necessary for the surgery to go on.

During the surgery, you will be administered local anaesthesia with light sedation. Tiny incisions are made to allow the entry of the numbing solution as well as for the surgery to happen. The incisions are made in discrete areas to make sure that your scars are not very noticeable after the surgery.

When the surgery is done, you will go through the post-op recovery period. It is very important for you to follow your doctor’s advice as improper after-surgery care may lead to poorer results as well as infections.

You will be briefed on what to expect or prepare for the surgery by your doctor during your consultations.

How long does it take for results to appear?

For VASER lipo, results are seen after 6 weeks for most patients. However, it can take up to 6 months in rare cases.

The time for results to appear varies from patient to patient. It also depends on factors such as the level at which you maintain your post-surgery care. Not taking care of your body properly after the surgery will delay your results, for example.

How much does VASER liposuction cost?

The best way to obtain an accurate estimate of your surgery costs is to ask your doctor directly. It is impossible to give an accurate figure as the surgery costs vary from patient to patient.

The costs are also influenced by factors such as:

  • The geographical location of your doctor or clinic
  • The experience and qualifications of your doctor
  • The conditions of your case
  • Administrative and external costs which may differ from clinic to clinic

Where can I learn more about VASER liposuction?

Head over to our liposuction info page to learn more about VASER liposuction.