What is VASER liposuction?
VASER Liposuction is a minimally-invasive body contouring procedure that is sometimes referred to as lipo sculpting due to its ability to create more definition in certain parts of the body. The Vaser lipo technique utilizes ultrasound technology to target fat with amazing accuracy while also preserving blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue.
What are the advantages of VASER liposuction vs. traditional liposuction?
All liposuction techniques are designed to remove unwanted fat from various areas of the body, including the thighs, buttocks, abdomen, flanks, underarms, and more. These areas commonly hold stubborn fat that resists diet and exercise. The most common liposuction technique, for many years, has been tumescent liposuction. This term describes the use of tumescent fluid during the procedure. VASER liposuction also utilizes tumescent fluid, a solution of saline, epinephrine, and lidocaine. When infiltrated into the treatment area, the tumescent fluid causes tissue to swell and stiffen and blood vessels to constrict. The lidocaine in the solution acts as an analgesic that numbs nerve endings.
When performing traditional liposuction, the surgeon inserts a cannula through tiny incisions. To remove fat using suction, the cannula is moved back and forth in a sweeping motion. Performing VASER liposuction, the surgeon inserts a small probe through tiny incisions. The probe breaks up and emulsifies fatty tissue by delivering ultrasound energy. Because the fat is broken down by the ultrasound waves, there is no need to use the same mechanical back-and-forth action to extract the unwanted tissue. Suction occurs in a gentle and very precise manner. The use of ultrasound during the VASER liposuction procedure achieves benefits such as:
- VASER is even more minimally-invasive due to the gentle movement of the aspiration probe
- Reduced swelling and bruising
- Greater accuracy and “etching” ability
- Shorter recovery period
Who is a good candidate for the VASER lipo procedure?
The VASER liposuction procedure may be ideal for many patients. Even without the use of general anesthesia, it is necessary for patients to quit smoking well before surgery, if applicable. To reduce risks of infection, bleeding, and excessive bruising or swelling, patients may be advised to avoid certain substances and medications, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and alcohol, for one to two weeks prior to their procedure. If you’re wondering about liposuction to achieve your best body contours, the best way to discern the right path is to consult with an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon. Dr. Altamira is passionate about perfection and strives to achieve the very best outcome for every patient. This starts with a thorough consultation and examination to determine candidacy for a desired procedure.
How Is The VASER Liposuction Procedure Performed?
The entire body contouring process involves a pre-operative consultation, preparation, and anesthesia selection.
- During the preoperative consultation, Dr. Altamira listens to your goals, sets reasonable expectations, and answers any questions you have. At that appointment, be prepared to discuss your full medical history.
- Preparation for surgery can begin several weeks before the procedure date, depending on your health and lifestyle habits. Patients must not smoke and, beginning about two weeks before surgery, must avoid blood-thinning medications and supplements. A list may be provided at the preoperative consultation.
- Anesthesia is also discussed during our initial visit. VASER liposuction is often performed using a local anesthetic and sedation. With that, patients are comfortable for the duration of their procedure. It is necessary to arrange a ride home due to the lingering effects of the sedative used during the procedure.
VASER liposuction begins with sedation to help the patient feel comfortable and relaxed. A local anesthetic may also be injected across the treatment area. Keep in mind, however, that the tumescent fluid that is infiltrated into the surgical site contains generous amounts of lidocaine. After making a small incision that measures approximately one-half centimeter, the doctor inserts a cannula to deliver the tumescent fluid. Next, the small VASER probe is inserted to dislodge fat cells using sound waves. The final step is to suction away the fat using precise vertical and horizontal motions, depending on the amount of etching or contouring to be achieved.
How long do the results of VASER lipo last?
It can take several weeks for the full results of VASER liposuction to appear. Provided that the patient maintains a stable weight, the contours achieved through surgery can be permanent.
What is recovery like from VASER liposuction?
Post-operative instructions are provided and reviewed before surgery. If the patient has any questions, they should contact our office. As soon as possible after surgery, patients should be up and moving to some degree. Short walks around the house are ideal for supporting the circulation that is needed for optimal healing and the prevention of blood clots in the legs. Drainage may occur from the incision points for approximately 48 hours after the VASER procedure. This can include both tumescent fluid and blood. Patients should take pain medication as directed to manage comfort and must follow post-operative activity restrictions to avoid unnecessary discomfort and complication risks. Comfort is also supported by the compression garment applied after surgery. Compression helps fluid drain from the surgical area and promotes the resolution of swelling and bruising. It should be maintained as directed in our post-operative guidelines. Typically, patients are able to return to light activities and work after about one week of rest, provided that their job is not physically demanding. More strenuous physical activity may resume gradually beginning 4 to 6 weeks after surgery.
Are there any risks associated with the procedure?
VASER liposuction is a minimally-invasive body contouring procedure that is generally considered very safe when performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon. That said, there are risks that patients are made aware of during their initial consultation. The general risks of liposuction procedures include:
- Allergic reactions to topical preparations or medications
- Changing in skin sensation
- A buildup of fluid under the skin (seroma)
Schedule A Consultation
If you are interested in a Liposuction procedure and would like to see if you are a good candidate, contact us at (713) 271-9000 to schedule a consultation. Dr. Altamira has plastic surgery offices in Houston and Sugar Land, Texas.