What is VASER liposuction?
You may not have heard of VASER® liposuction. That’s because it is a relatively new treatment that uses ultrasound to break down fat cells in the body before they are removed.
VASER stands for Vibration Amplification of Sound Energy at Resonance. The energy generated by the ultrasound waves can loosen the fat cells from deeper tissue. It then liquidises them, making them far easier to remove than with traditional liposuction.
VASER liposuction vs. traditional liposuction
VASER liposuction differs from traditional liposuction methods, which use water pressure and lasers to break down fat cells. VASER liposuction can pinpoint the precise area from where the cells are to be removed.
Not only that, but it is minimally invasive since it requires only minor incisions to be made, so there is no need for stitches and there is minimal scarring. It also causes less bleeding and bruising, which can mean a faster recovery time.
An essential benefit of VASER liposuction is that the ultrasound can precisely target the fat cells, so that nearby blood vessels and nerves are less likely to be damaged than traditional liposuction.
Unlike other versions of liposuction, VASER can also be used on cellulite.
It can take up to three months to see the full results of VASER liposuction when all the initial swelling has disappeared. After six months, the skin will have tightened completely over the area where the procedure was performed.
Areas most commonly targeted
The treatment is typically performed on areas of the body where stubborn fatty deposits tend to collect. These include the stomach and hips, the underside of the arms and the thighs. But it can also be used on other areas such as the neck and chin, back, flanks, knees and ankles.
Preparing for treatment
As with any form of treatment that involves anaesthetic, it’s a good idea to get yourself as healthy as possible beforehand. That means cutting back on alcohol and smoking, as these can lead to more severe bruising. Any nutritional supplements and blood thinners should also be avoided, which may react to the anaesthetic. Avoid sunbathing or tanning and get plenty of sleep. These precautions prevent unnecessary complications and give the body a better chance of recovery.
A general or local anaesthetic is given before the procedure is performed. For minor surgery, local anaesthetic in a saline solution is injected into the area where the liposuction will be carried out. Probes are then inserted via a cut in the skin. The ultrasound vibrations break up the fatty tissue, and a cannula is used to vacuum the debris out of the body. Depending on the extent of the liposuction, the treatment can last from one to three hours.
Because VASER liposuction is a minimally invasive procedure, it should be possible to go home on the day of your treatment. You should rest for at least three days – although this is dependent on how much liposuction you received and where the ultrasound was applied.
You should rest because some of the fluid will have been retained by the body and will slowly leak out. There shouldn’t be too much pain, but there will likely be some swelling around the affected area. You might also experience bruising and numbness during this period.
A special compression garment must be worn daily for six to eight weeks to help reshape the body. It is also good to massage the area daily to help push the fluid and leftover fat back into the lymph system. Some practitioners recommend a course of lymphatic drainage around a week after a liposuction treatment to assist with preventing swelling.
In addition to swelling and possible bruising, common side effects of liposuction include temporary numbness, scarring and swollen ankles.
Less common side effects include long term numbness, a build-up of fluid or even a clot in the lungs, damage to internal organs, or an allergic reaction to the anaesthetic. This last is known as lidocaine toxicity and can cause serious nervous system and heart problems in vulnerable individuals.
How much does liposuction cost in the UK and Europe?
Liposuction in the UK can cost from £2,000 to £6,000, depending on which parts of the body are being treated and which clinic you use.
Aesthetic and plastic surgery clinics in Europe and Turkey offer an affordable option for medical tourists seeking VASER liposuction treatments. Prices are approximately 30% to 50% cheaper than in the UK. You can expect to pay between £1,500 and £2,500 for a single zone of VASER lipo in Europe and Turkey, with additional zones charged at around £400. These costs are for the treatment alone and don’t include accommodation or flights.
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