Can't decide if Vaser liposuction or traditional liposuction is the right option for you? Check out the pros and cons of each procedure explained here!
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Are you looking for a way to fight obesity? Have you thought of undergoing liposuction? Liposuction is the second most popular cosmetic procedure in the United States with 246,354 procedures in 2017, 5% higher than 2016. That number includes all types of the procedure, such as Vaser lipo and the traditional method. No matter the method, though, patients get liposuction to remove fat regardless of weight. However, each one is vastly different from each other. Vaser, for example, uses ultrasound, while traditional liposuction uses motion to get those fat cells out of the body. There are other differences that set these two apart that allow them to target different audiences. Find out how each one works and which one is the right option for you.
Introduction to Both Techniques
Before we talk about which one is better for you, let's familiarize ourselves first with both procedures.
This is what we commonly think of when we hear the word "liposuction." The traditional method has been around since 1974 thanks to the Italian gynecologists Giorgio and Arpad Fischer, but it was only in 1982 that it became available to the public after the French surgeon Yves-Gerard Illouz perfected it. For years, people have been using it to alter the body shape to improve appearance. The desire for removing fat dates back to 1926 when a botched procedure contained the eagerness to undergo an operation for this reason. European surgeons then developed a technique in the 1960s that merely cuts away fat in areas with fewer blood vessels. This technique works on most areas of the body, including the breasts, buttocks, abdomen, chin, and knees. This is most commonly the go-to method for people with a higher BMI. Sometimes, a tummy tuck procedure accompanies the liposuction to remove the excess skin that expanded due to the fat.
Vaser is an acronym that stands for Vibration Amplification of Sound Energy at Resonance, which is ultrasound. It removes unwanted fat as well, but it is a minimally invasive procedure involving a small probe. This is not a new technique. In fact, a liposuction technique using ultrasonic energy first appeared in the 90's. Surgeons cannot control the level of the energy then, and so the high risks and resulting complications put the technology out of style. The current Vaser lipo tech is now the 3rd generation, which now uses a low level that's enough to eliminate most or all of the targeted fat cells without the same risks as in the past. This technique works on most areas of the body, but it is especially effective in neck, chin, arms, thighs, and love handles.
Why They are Different
As you can surmise from the name, both liposuction techniques draw out fat using a suction tube. Before that, however, the surgeon must first break up the fat cells, and that is where the two methods differ.
Prior to the liposuction procedure, the patient will receive general anesthesia or local anesthesia if the area is small enough. The procedure itself starts with the doctor making a tiny incision through which a cannula will enter to reach the deep fat layer. This is crucial as working on the superficial layer has higher risks of causing injury to the skin. The cannula moves back and forth to break up the fat cells from the tissues, which a vacuum device will then suction out of the body and into a flask. In another technique we call Tumescent, the surgeon injects fluid with anesthesia, epinephrine, and salt solution to the fat layer. The epinephrine reduces blood loss by constricting the blood vessels, while the salt solution makes it easier for the cannula to remove that fat. This method creates tunnels due to the cannulas entering the body. This is why patients should wear a compression garment for several weeks after to allow the tunnels to collapse and begin the healing process. Depending on the size of the area, the patients can either go back home after the procedure with someone else driving, of course, or they may have to stay overnight in the hospital. The patient might also require intravenous fluid as the body loses fluid during surgery. The patient will experience pain and soreness during the healing process, which can take three weeks. Some inflammation will also be present until after a month or so, and only then will patients see the actual results.
Prior to the procedure, the doctor will inject the patient with a local anesthetic and saline solution to reduce bruising and minimize blood loss. This fluid also makes the area wet and fills it so that the fat deposits are easier to break up. In contrast to the traditional method, Vaser lipo uses a probe that transmits ultrasound energy that breaks up the fat in a gentle manner. The vibration from the probe loosens the fat cells and emulsifies it with the fluid. The surrounding tissues remain intact because Vaser doesn't require the cannula to break down the fat, whose movement in traditional liposuction can cause trauma to the tissues. An aspiration process then draws out the liquefied fat with minimal damage to the surrounding tissues. Some anesthesia will remain in the tissues, which should help with the post-operation discomforts. While this procedure doesn't require patients to go under general anesthesia, you may ask for it if unnerves you. It depends on what you and your doctor agree on that is safe for you.
Advantages of Each Liposuction Procedure
Each method has its own pros and cons, yet what may be advantageous to some may be the opposite for you. Review the following to get a feel for the main differences of each treatment, but ask your doctor for a professional opinion.
As this is ideal for those with a higher BMI, those who have a large amount of fat they want to remove is better off getting the traditional method. Vaser lipo limits the amount of fat it removes in a session. While there's a limit with traditional liposuction as well, it's significantly bigger so you'll need to undergo a fewer number of procedures. Traditional liposuction is also the worldwide standard with generally good results. If you have a good surgeon with skilled hands, you can achieve the results you want without going for any of that liposuctions with fancier names. Furthermore, this procedure lasts shorter than Vaser, but it may require hospitalization.
Patients can undergo Vaser lipo while awake, and it usually ends in an hour up to several hours. Because Vaser lipo is a minimally invasive procedure, the recovery time is significantly shorter than traditional liposuction's. The technique results in less bleeding, pain, and bruising. Being a walk-out procedure, patients can immediately go home after and rest for at least half a day. They do have to take it easy and avoid any strenuous activity for 2 to 3 weeks, but that's still preferable to weeks or months of pain and inflammation. Remember, though, that recovery time varies among patients. Ask your doctor first when you're fit to resume an athletic activity. Men might also prefer Vaser lipo over the traditional liposuction technique. Their body tissues are naturally fibrous, which are difficult to handle with conventional liposuction. This goes for body areas in women that are fibrous as well, such as the bra rolls and love handles. Furthermore, its selective nature makes it good for sculpting. It's accurate in removing fat from targeted muscle groups, giving some definition around muscles. Vaser also results in a more natural look because of improved skin retraction.
Which is Better for You, Vaser Lipo or Traditional?
Although the procedures employ different techniques, the end goal is the same: to remove unwanted fat. Your choice of surgeon will have an even greater impact on how the procedure will turn out, whether you go for traditional or Vaser. Remember, both types have bleeding and associated risks. Finding a surgeon you can trust with instruments going into your body, whichever machine you choose, is more important than the technique itself. However, if you also care about the downtime, pain, and effectiveness on the tough parts of your body, then go for the Vaser lipo treatment. It minimizes the risks of injuries, and it will get you back to your normal life in no time. On the other hand, you may opt for traditional liposuction if you have large amounts of fat you want out of your body. Vaser is good for sculpting, like for showing more defined abs, and it's not a weight loss solution. Make sure to ask your doctor which procedure they recommend for the area you want to undergo liposuction. While both techniques produce good results in the hands of a great surgeon, remember that it doesn't keep away fat forever. If you like the results, maintain it by having proper diet and exercise.
Get a Professional Opinion
Always make sure to consult your doctor before undergoing any type of liposuction operation. Your medical expert can determine which option suits your level of fitness and health. Interested in the vaser lipo procedure? Contact us and let's discuss the risks, benefits, and everything you need to know about it. We assure that you're safe in the hands of board-certified surgeons who will help you achieve your ideal body.