VASER liposuction is a relatively new form of liposuction that takes old technology and applies it in a novel way. VASER stands for Vibration Amplification of Sound Energy at Resonance. Not to be confused with laser liposuction which uses light energy to vaporize fat cells, VASER couples the use of ultrasound energy to an adapted suction device. Ultrasound energy is the same energy that is used by obstetricians to visualize a fetus or by emergency room physicians to diagnose disease. In VASER liposuction, however, the ultrasound energy is focused on fat cells to disrupt and dissolve them so that they can be sucked away gently.
VASER liposuction claims to provide several advantages over traditional liposuction techniques. Since the VASER liposuction probe is quite small, far more delicate structures can be targeted such as the face and neck. Also, patient’s that have a fairly slender physique but want sculpted abdominal muscles may opt for VASER liposuction. Other claims include that there is less patient bruising and pain following the procedure and that skin retraction is improved over other liposuction techniques.
According to the manufacturer and holder of the VASER patents, VASER liposuction works by emulsifying the fat with ultrasonic energy instead of avulsion. By pre-targeting or pre-treating the area to be liposuctioned with ultrasonic energy, the makers of the device claim that only fat cells are disrupted. This emulsification leaves the nonfat tissues intact while gently and thoroughly removing only the emulsified fat cells. Because the nonfat tissues remain, the final contour of the skin is smoother, more visually appealing, and the skin is able to retract much more rapidly and uniformly.
VASER liposuction also uses a separately patented device to remove the emulsified fat cells called VentX. The VentX aspiration system selectively removes emulsified fluids while leaving the other tissues in place. The VentX aspiration system combined with VASER ultrasonic liposuction causes much less damage to the area than traditional liposuction techniques. This approach minimizes swelling and bruising after the procedure and with less damage comes less post-operative pain.
The VASER device has many different liposuction cannulae that can be changed to suit different purposes. For wide, large collections of fatty tissue, a large cannula with high-intensity ultrasound energy may be used. If delicate structures around the face are being contoured, a small VASER liposuction probe may be substituted with lower ultrasonic intensity.
VASER liposuction can be performed under local anesthesia meaning that the patient is awake but the area to be treated is numbed. In the case of local anesthesia, intravenous sedatives may be used to relax the patient. In some instances, general anesthesia is required in which the patient is rendered unconscious with the help of medication throughout the procedure. Recovery times vary depending on the type and degree of sedation.
Since VASER liposuction is a fairly new technique, not all cosmetic and plastic surgeons provide the service. Thus when you are talking to a plastic surgeons about VASER liposuction, it may be difficult to get objective information—those surgeons that use the device will usually speak more highly of it than those that do not use it. For the best information, it is best to talk with several plastic surgeons, some that use VASER liposuction, and some that do not. Not only will you get a feel for which liposuction procedure is right for you, but you can also find the right plastic surgeon!