Non-surgical Laser That Will Literally Melt Fat (Inches) in 2 Weeks?

On twitter Zerona is marketing their laser device by saying "If you need to lose inches fast, try Zerona! It is a non-surgical laser that will literally melt fat (inches) in 2 weeks." Is this claim valid?  Are there insights on how a consumer is supposed to verify such?

Doctor Answers 15

Zerona does not "melt" fat but it can help patients lose inches.

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Zerona is not magical nor is it science fiction. The scientific studies available regarding the latest generation of this device  (to those that take the time to review them), do support it's ability  to mobilize superficial fat and promote slimming. Earlier versions of this device were not very effective and many disappointments occurred. Like many other technologies, the Zerona device has improved and has been rigorously evaluated.  This is currently the only non-invasive technology on the market that has published a randomized, placebo controlled trial demonstrating a beneficial effect on reducing fat in a meaningful way. This was submitted and evaluated by the FDA. The same can not be said for other devices on the market such as  Zeltiq, Ultrashape, Liposonix, Accent XL and others used to reduce localized fat. Many of the critics have invested heavily in these other platforms despite the lack of rigorous studies being available. All of these devices work to some degree. Each uses a different mechanism of action and each has different risks and benefits. In my practice, Zerona is helping healthy patients who do not liposuction to consistently  lose 3 or more inches over a few short weeks.

Dr. Mosher

Vancouver Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

ZERONA does work, but only moderately and is not for everyone

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All the negative comments about Zerona should be temper with time since time will tell how effective it is and if it will be improved as the technology advances. It is like when Thermage first came out, every plastic surgeon in town jumped on the band wagon and heralded a great new skin tightening procedure. That was great marketing but the results were nonexistent.

Nobody saw any improvement and it was painful. Then they said it takes 6 months to see results. That too never materialized. Then they said it needs 2-3 treatments at $2500 a pop to see results. Then some patients saw some results and we started to think twice about our initial negative feelings about this crazy new technology.

For some patients the minimal amount of improvement they thought they saw was just enough for them and they were happy. Then the company increased the power settings a lot and all of a sudden we started to see more moderate results and more doctors became believers. Now, it is used all over the body and has more doctors believing that it actually does something, although I have never seen any great results. I have seen moderate results in a few patients.

Zerona may give only a small improvement at this time and that may be all some patients need to make them happy or more confident. But with NO side effects and NO pain, we owe it to ourselves as docs to at least save our opinions until we at least know what we are talking about before putting down something that not a single nay sayer has any experience with.

Zerona is not making outrageous claims as Thermage first did. We have heard about this technology for a few yrs and have been waiting for it to finally get to the U.S. We should embrace this new technology and scrutinize it as we would any other technology but only after we have experienced using the machine and seeing what it can and can not do. IT EVIDENTLY DOES WORK as I have seen it for myself but so far the results have been slight to moderate and that may be just fine for thin patients with only slight fat deposits who are happy with those results since there is no pain nor downtime etc. It will never replace liposuction but I think it is a great adjunct to our armentarium of things we can offer our patients and who knows, maybe one day as the technology improves we will all have one in our office.

I've always been very skeptical about new technology but this one is here to stay. Let's hope it keeps advancing as many other technologies have in the past. I will keep our group informed as we gain more experience and knowledge with ZERONA.

David Hansen, MD
Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Does Zerona laser work to melt fat?

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I actually saw a presentation on this with data from a prospective clinical trial. A few things stood out:

  1. The 2 inches lost was a total of treating the abdomen, hips, and both thighs, so the reduction in each area was tiny but by adding them all together it sounds more impressive.
  2. The follow-up was very short so there is no information as to whether the effect lasts.
  3. There was no information presented about what exactly happens to the tissue in response to the treatment. The explanation was that the laser interacted with the fat cell membranes to make them "leaky."

It all seemed very sci-fi to me. More likely that the dietary advice given as part of the treatment protocol is the true cause of the effect.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Buyer beware!

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Of course this is just a false advertising claim designed to convince the naive to pay for this treatment.  If such a claim were true, don't you think everybody and their sister and brother would have had this treatment already?

CoolSculpting Zeltiq vs Zerona

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he Zerona device, a non-surgical device designed to remove fat with no surgery and no down time DID receive an FDA clearance. However, and FDA clearance alone should not be enough to convince a physician of safety or efficacy of a device.
I have never, and will never proclaim my practice to be "First in geographic region to offer treatment x"  I would much rather wait to see what side effects might occur when a product has been used by many people for a significant period of time. So, I was not the first to use Juvederm. Juvederm is a great product and my office is now are the top provider of Juvederm in Raleigh, NC, so I guess I missed some opportunities early on. . But, I was also not the first to introduce Evolence or Lipo-dissolve. I never used these products. They sounded crazy from the start. They proved to be problematic, and in some cases very dangerous.
The good news is, I believe there is at least one great treatment for non-surgical fat removal. CoolSculpting Complete.  I have been interested in CoolSculpting for quite some time and after enough patients have been treated I felt the device was safe and effective. With the introduction of CoolSculpting Complete, I feel confident that we have a safe, effective non-surgical treatment for at reduction that requires no down time.
CoolSculpting Complete is not for every person, and it is certainly not a replacement for liposuction. But, for the right candidate, we feel CoolSculpting Complete can provide wonderful results. Zerona, on the other hand has been a disappointment to many patients and physicians despite an FDA clearance.

Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 123 reviews

Non-Surgical Laser that Melts Fat (inches) - Too Good to be true

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My advice to you is to save your money for liposuction which works on everyone - this technique does not.

Zerona is a generalized “whole body” slimming non-invasive low level laser treatment coupled with oral medications, daily minimal water intake requirements. It  uses photochemical rather than a thermal or ultrasonic mechanisms  to alter the fat cell by making the fat cell membrane more permeable - letting fat out that is absorbed by the body. The company aggressively markets to many medical specialties as a medical breakthrough that works dramatically on most patients. This was not our experience.

According to Zerona, after 6 treatments and 2 weeks, the majority of patients will realize between 3-9 inches of generalized slimming, rather than localized fat reduction in a specific spot. Although FDA approved at this time and favorable controlled studies have been done it is our office experience that this technique was not efficacious. We first tried it on 6 members of our office staff, including myself and one of our patients who is a professional blogger (you can look up her experience on "tweentyfouratheart. com. There were no significant changes despite following all directions faithfully.  We have stopped offering this treatment and have returned our machine.

Zerona works

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I am a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon in United States and in Canada. I have a busy and active body contouring practice offering many different types of liposuction as well as non-invasive body contouring options. One of the most interesting, successful and recent body contouring technologies that I have brought to my practice has been the Zerona Laser slimming device. Two weeks and six active treatments by the Zerona high influence, low level laser therapy device and over 90% of patients will achieve between 3-9 inch slimming effect over multiple measured truncal areas between the bra line and the thighs.

The Zerona laser slimming program involves six 40 minute treatments performed every 48 hours with no pain, no recovery and no downtime. The cost may vary between $1,500-$2,900 (depending up the clinic) for the program of which is in line with other slimming and diet programs. Zerona certainly doesn’t replace liposuction but for patients who want a no risk, no downtime reduction in fatty contours, Zerona provides a good and perhaps the only generalized fat reduction laser alternative.

In fact, the company believes so strongly in the consistency and outcomes of their product that for any patients who fail to achieve at least 3 inches of slimming within 2 weeks, they are provided with a complimentary second round of treatments at no cost to the patient. That is a guarantee that I wish my other non surgical laser manufactures would offer!

R. Stephen Mulholland, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 101 reviews

Marketing is amazing

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Don't believe everything you hear... or read! If they said you could lose 6 inches it would sound even more impressive. This is one of many novel procedures that has not been scrutinized or truly evaluated. If the company sticks around in another year and enough people have tried it, then we would have a shot at knowing the truth. Right now, it is just marketing.

Sirish Maddali, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon


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 The claims made by the company regarding Zerona are specious at best.  I have not seen any scientific evidence to support what is claimed.  Marketing is marketing.  

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Zero chance for this claim to be true

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There is a ZERO chance that this claim is true!

Peoples' fascination with science fiction goes back to Jules Verne in the late 19th century, Flash Gordon in the mid 20th, and Star trek and Star Wars in the late 20th century. Laser is king. We have laser teeth cleaning, laser wrinkle removal, laser hemorrhoid removal, laser hernia repair, laser liposuction etc. While my colleagues and I would love to be able to have medical diagnosis and treatment as easy as done by Dr. "Bones" McCoy with a flashing salt shaker (literally), that is fiction. So are the way over-touted abilities of "LASER".

What most people should know about the average Plastic surgeon is that we are all united by several common traits; we are very obsessive, detail focused, perfectionists who are very competitive and ALWAYS seek the best way to improve our own results.

IF there was a device on the market that TRULY delivered on such promise nearly EVERY real, board-certified Plastic surgeon would be offering it to his patients. What reason would he have not to do so?

The fact that we do not use it and these ads read like the ads in the back of a 1950's Ladies magazine should speak volumes. Save your money and look elsewhere.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.