Laser and vaser liposuction: what’s the difference?

Laser and vaser liposuction: what’s the difference?
  • Home
  • |
  • Laser and vaser liposuction: what’s the difference?

The difference between Vaser, laser, and regular tumescent liposuction is all in the tools used. All liposuction uses tumescent liposuction as its base, with Vaser liposuction using ultrasonic energy and a laser using a thermal laser beam to assist the practitioner in the procedure.

Tumescent liposuction is now the medical-grade standard in liposuction and is regarded globally as the technique used for all liposuction procedures.

Dr Michael Rich,  is a dermatologist that performs Liposuction. He founded ENRICH Clinic and has been performing Liposuction for over 30 years. Dr Rich was trained by tumescent liposuction pioneer Dr Jeffrey Klein in the United States, the doctor who founded the tumescent liposuction technique. It is Dr Rich’s opinion that tumescent liposuction alone provides results and is where patient care is central. While Vaser may be the new buzzword, it is not the gold standard in liposuction techniques.

“Using laser to tighten skin after liposuction can be done, but I don’t believe it’s optimal for both to be done in the same procedure,” says Dr Rich regarding laser-assisted liposuction. In Dr Rich’s opinion, combining laser or “vaser” into the procedure simultaneously could also compromise patient care.

Why is tumescent liposuction ideal for optimal results?

The use of tumescent fluid means tiny incisions, smoother results, reduced likelihood of bruising, and faster recovery times. Vaser liposuction requires larger incisions, which means more likelihood of visible scarring and tissue damage.

Vaser or laser liposuction changes the state of fatty tissue prior to suction, while tumescent liposuction removes fat from your body intact. Fat cells are targeted with modern liposuction techniques, leaving blood vessels, nerves, and other connective tissue largely unharmed. This reduces recovery time compared to older techniques.

We do not perform Vaser or laser liposuction at ENRICH – we perform the tumescent technique only.

Understanding vaser-assisted liposuction

Vaser liposuction is performed using a special probe that emits ultrasonic waves from both the end and the sides uniformly. The probe is inserted just under the skin into the treatment area and moved gently around to treat the fat cells. The ultrasonic waves (vibrations) and heat combine the fat cells with a special saline solution that is injected into the area prior to treatment. This emulsifies the fat, which means the fat and the fluid become a liquid mixture, which is then suctioned out of the treatment area.

Fat cells removed during vaser liposuction can be used on other areas of the body using a fat transfer or fat grafting technique ( we do not perform fat transfers or grafting at ENRICH Clinic). This is also possible with regular liposuction techniques. Vaser liposuction and tumescent liposuction are both very good for treating fat in fibrous areas of the body, such as the upper abdomen and back. Vaser tends to be more expensive than laser-assisted or regular liposuction. Vaser liposuction may be performed under general or local anaesthetic

Understanding laser-assisted liposuction

Laser liposuction uses a thermal laser beam to destroy fat cells, and unlike vaser, bursts the cells, emptying the contents – ‘liquefying’ fat. This liquid content is suctioned away at the same time as the laser is applied. With laser-assisted liposuction, the laser beam is only emitted from the end of the probe, not the sides.

Blood vessels inside the treatment area are cauterised by the laser beam, which reduces bleeding. The special tumescent fluid injected into the treatment area also contains lidocaine, which not only numbs the area fully, but acts to seal off blood vessels. This means very limited bruising and bleeding, resulting in quick recovery times.

Laser liposuction can result in some skin tightening at the same time as liposuction, with the heat tightening the collagen fibres how ever in Dr Rich’s opinion laser & liposuction combined can result in more risk for the patient.

There is a greater risk of burns using laser liposuction compared with vaser liposuction, however in the wrong hands, the vaser probe has a history of burns too. Laser techniques are not quite as useful when treating fibrous areas of the body, but are useful for smaller areas. Laser liposuction may be performed under general or local anaesthetic.

Key points of vaser, laser and tumescent liposuction:

  • Both vaser and laser liposuction use heat
  • Vaser uses ultrasonic vibrations and heat to mix fat with the saline solution for easy removal
  • Vaser and tumescent liposuction are suitable for keeping fat cells intact for subsequent fat transfers
  • Vaser and laser both use regular tumescent liposuction techniques, with the addition of specialised probes
  • Using an experienced tumescent liposuction specialist is the best way to get good results for any liposuction treatment
  • Tumescent, vaser and laser liposuction all have their pros and cons
  • Always do your research. Liposuction is a surgical procedure and its essential for anyone embarking on any procedure to be informed.

What is the difference between vaser lipo and tumescent liposuction?

Tumescent liposuction is the gold standard of liposuction techniques, while laser and vaser are trendy procedures that all use tumescent liposuction as their base. Tumescent liposuction uses a special fluid injected into the treatment area, which numbs it and stops excess bleeding. The fluid makes the treatment area firm for easier fat removal, and the liposuction practitioner then uses a tiny tube to carefully and precisely suction fat out.

The processes are very similar between vaser, laser, and tumescent liposuction overall, but Vaser and laser may come with extra risks. The extra probe with the energy beam (ultrasound or laser beam) is useful in some circumstances but has little to do with a successful outcome. An experienced, expert liposuction practitioner is always your best bet for good results .

Read more on the science behind tumescent liposuction.

What’s the difference between Smartlipo and liposuction?

As mentioned above, Smartlipo (laser-assisted liposuction) and tumescent liposuction are different only in that with Smartlipo; a laser is used to break up the fat before it is suctioned out.

Looking for long-lasting fat removal?
Contact ENRICH for informed and experienced liposuction and fat removal treatments

Please Note:

*With all surgeries or procedures, there are risks. Consult your physician (GP) before undertaking any surgical or cosmetic procedure. Please read the consent forms carefully and be informed about every aspect of your treatment. Surgeries such as liposuction have a mandatory seven-day cooling-off period to give patients adequate time to be sure of their surgery choice. Results may also vary from person to person due to many factors, including the individual’s genetics, diet and exercise. Before and after photos are only relevant to the patient in the photo and do not necessarily reflect the results other patients may experience. Ask questions. Our team of dermatologists, doctors and nurses are here to help you with any of your queries. This page is not advice and is intended to be informational only. We endeavour to keep all our information up to date; however, this site is intended as a guide and not a definitive information portal or in any way constitutes medical advice.

Spread the Love

Have more questions?

Request a consultation!

Request a consultation

"*" indicates required fields


Check out our Latest Newsletter

We talk psoriasis and see what all the fuss about Bio remodelling is.

Blog Categories

Have you tried our ENRICH skin care range?

Combining Dr Rich’s dermatological skill with his knowledge of restorative skin regimes and treatments, the ENRICH range is formulated to help maintain and complement your skin. Our signature Vitamin C Day & Night creams are now joined by a Vit A, B,&C Serum and a B5 Hyaluronic Gel, both with hydration properties and much, much more. 

Related Articles