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The Body: Body Fat

Vaser Liposuction

What is VASER Liposuction?

Vibration Amplification of Sound Energy at Resonance (VASER) is a method of liposuction that uses ultrasonic energy to break down fat deposits and contour the body. The emulsified fat cells are then removed from the body through a gentle suction process. It is a minimally invasive procedure that significantly reduces post-treatment pain, hospital stay and recovery period, compared to traditional liposuction techniques.

Difference Between Traditional & VASER Liposuction

Though similar in technique and goal, the difference between traditional and VASER liposuction lies in the way fats are broken down, as well as the concern it addresses. In traditional liposuction, a hollow steel tube called a cannula is inserted beneath the skin, and then moved back and forth to loosen the fat deposits. A mixture of saline solution, epinephrine and lidocaine is also pumped into the skin to aid in breaking down fat cells. The cannula is connected to an aspirator, which suctions out the emulsified fats. Traditional liposuction is ideal for patients who want to lose a significant amount of weight.

VASER liposuction, on the other hand, is suitable for those wanting to contour the body by removing fats from smaller areas. Instead of moving a cannula back and forth beneath the skin, this method uses a probe, which transmits ultrasonic vibrations to liquefy fat cells. The broken-down cells are then eliminated from the body through an aspirator. VASER liposuction typically uses a smaller incision and does less damage to surrounding tissues than the traditional method. It can also help tighten skin and reduce cellulite using a combination of ultrasound and laser therapies.

VASER Liposuction Procedure

VASER liposuction may be performed under general or local anesthesia, depending on the preference of the patient. Since it works on smaller fat deposits, the process is fairly quick and done in an outpatient setting. The patient will be instructed on how to prepare for the operation at least a week prior. This includes a guideline on what not to eat or drink, and which medications or lifestyle habits to avoid.

The procedure takes 1 to 4 hours depending on its complexity, paying careful attention to the amount of fat that will be removed, and the number and size of the areas being treated. Since VASER liposuction is typically done under general anesthesia, the patient is advised to arrange his or her ride home beforehand, as he or she will not be able to drive due to the effects of the sedatives.

For most, it takes 5 to 6 weeks for results to become noticeable.

Treatment Areas with VASER Liposuction

VASER liposuction works best in treating smaller fat deposits to improve the appearance and contour of areas such as the:

  • chin
  • neck
  • chest
  • upper arms
  • abdomen
  • thighs
  • buttocks
Post-Operative Recovery

The recovery time depends on the extent of the procedure, but full healing generally takes 2 to 3 weeks. Most patients are able to resume their normal activities days after the operation, as compared to weeks resulting from traditional fat removal methods. Bruising and swelling from the treated areas are expected and should subside within 1 or 2 weeks.

After VASER liposuction, the patient is advised to wear compression garments 24/7 for up to 6 weeks to facilitate quicker healing and reduce bleeding and swelling. Lymphatic drainage massages may also be performed for 2 weeks to flush out the remaining tumescent solution from the body.

If necessary, the patient may be instructed to return to the clinic to have his or her bandages and sutures removed. The initial post-operative visit with the plastic surgeon is usually scheduled after 6 weeks.


Compared with traditional liposuction, VASER liposuction results in less pain, bruising and bleeding, and a quicker recovery period. However, it does come with certain risks, though the chances are very slim. Aside from the initial bruising and swelling, risks include:

  • Injury – The ultrasonic probe may injure the skin or other surrounding tissues and organs.
  • Infection – While quite rare, severe skin infections may develop and pose a risk to the patient’s life and health.
  • Contour Irregularities – Improper fat removal techniques may result in rough and lumpy skin, and permanent discoloration after the procedure.
  • Fat Embolism – Emulsified fat cells may clog blood vessels and restrict blood flow, resulting in organ failures and neurological disorders.
  • Fluid Accumulation – Fluid sacs called seroma may develop under the skin and need to be drained via a needle.
In the hands of an experienced and skilled plastic surgeon, the procedure will have a high chance of running smoothly and yielding satisfying results. Call 6472 2972 for a detailed consultation with Dr Leslie Kuek today.