By Jhen Kordela
Maybe it’s the promises. (A beauty breakthrough in plastic surgery. Lose three to four inches in just two weeks.) Maybe it’s the no’s. (No needles, no surgery, no pain, no downtime.) Or, maybe it’s all the the sparkle and shine that’s generating oh-so-much buzz about the brand new laser fat-loss procedure Zerona.
Zerona is what some doctors consider the Holy Grail of the plastic surgery industry. A sacred object that’s said to possess miraculous powers. Powers that can achieve fat loss from troublesome areas, such as your waist, hips and thighs. Miraculous results without the risks typically linked to more invasive procedures.
Unlike the Holy Grail, Zerona does not have a history that dates back very far. It’s been used in studies since 2008 and first introduced into practices at the start of 2009. So, if you’re weighing your future beauty options, here’s five things to think about – one for each laser that beams down onto your body from the medieval-looking contraption, called Zerona.
Treatment. According to myzerona.com, Zerona is “unlike invasive weight loss surgery.” That’s because it’s applied externally (no knives, nips or tucks), by low-light lasers that reportedly signal your body’s fat cells to shrink. The fatty content from those cells is released to the space between the cells, then absorbed by the lymphatic system.removes the entire area of fat cells, using a tube and vacuum.
There are many clients out there who say Zerona works. Numerous testimonials, on plastic surgeon Web sites praise the product.
One client cited Zerona and Dr. Stephanie M. King for her weight loss progress: “I’m now having to buy new clothes and alter ones I just recently bought because I keep losing inches,” said Veronica, whose last name was not provided. “I highly recommend this program to anyone who can’t lose weight.”
Effectiveness. You’ve probably heard of Zerona working wonders from stories in print and aired on various news outlets, as well as TV shows: CBS, FOX News Channel, “Extra,” “The Doctors” and “Rachel Ray,” to name a few.
Despite all the buzz though, Orange County, Ca. Plastic Surgean Dr. John Di Saia is not yet convinced.
“Zerona is looking like a gimmick procedure thus far,” said Dr. Di Saia.
According to Di Saia, certain statistics are stacked against the new procedure. He cited favorable ratings as low as 22 percent.
“I admit that I am a traditionalist in the sense that I do not try new things until there is some objective evidence that they work,” Dr. Di Saia said. “I will be unlikely to try Zerona for that reason.”
Time. Most doctors quote a two-week treatment, which spans over approximately six sessions, every other day. The sessions are expected to last 40 minutes. You’ll probably spend 20 minutes on your back, 20 minutes on your belly. Some patients have reported results immediately.
How long will results last? That’s still a matter of discussion. It’s also dependent upon your lifestyle. During treatment, you’re expected to eat healthy, drink water frequently, and exercise regularly. You’re also supposed to abstain from alcohol and caffeine. Anyone who adheres to this regimen would likely experience weight loss anyway, leading one to wonder if it’s Zerona or the lifestyle that lead to the slimming effects. Zerona fans claim it’s a combination of both.
Cost. It’s estimated to cost $2,000 to $3,000. Some doctors are so confident Zerona will work, they offer credits toward liposuction or other procedures for unsatisfied patients.
Other dorctors though, such as New York Plastic Surgean Dr. Jennifer Walden, said treatment time isn’t all you should expect.
“A diet and exercise regimen must be strictly adhered to during and after treatments for fat loss to occur and persist,” said Dr. Walden. “This is often difficult for the particular patient population who is trying to get rid of fat in a treatment or procedure and had trouble with losing it with diet and exercise in the first place.”
Risks. Myzerona.com promises a revolutionary method that provides results, without the dangers associated with surgery. Doctors tend to agree on this one.
“The low level laser therapy to reduce fat includes no incisions, no downtime, and it’s painless,” said Dr. Walden.
But, you know the saying: no pain, no gain.
“Although this procedure seems low risk, my patients do actually expect treatments I offer to work,” said Dr. Di Saia.
Among all the hype, all the excitement, all the promises, there’s still a plethora of information out there to be considered — and much that still needs to be discovered. It is important to get numerous professional opinions when considering a new treatment, such as Zerona, or speak to a doctor you can trust.