CoolSculpting Vs. Zerona

Zeltiq CoolSculpting and Zerona were both FDA-approved at the same time, and both involve non-invasive fat removal. Is it fair to lump the two procedures together and compare them? Are good candidates for one treatment necessarily good candidates for the other?

Doctor Answers 29

CoolSculpting is better than Zerona

Things to consider:

• CoolSculpting is the first  device cleared for the fat reduction!
– Zerona is cleared for non-invasive body contouring (circumferential reduction) and NOT for fat reduction. 
• CoolSculpting selectively & reliably eliminates fat in TARGETED problem areas
– Zerona cannot target where the reduction will occur.  It can only claim total contouring & circumference reduction (no telling where the 3.5 inches will come from)
• CoolSculpting KILLS the targeted fat cells
– Zerona cannot claim fat-cell elimination. The fat cells are diminished in size but do remain in place. In fact, their own study claims that this change may be temporary and more studies are necessary. In fact, what you see 2 weeks post treatment in their study are test patients starting to gain their fat back!
• CoolSculpting has no post treatment requirements, diet or exercise regiments.  CoolSculpting kills the fat cell!
-Zerona requires patients must be willing to maintain regular diet & exercise during treatment
-Zerona  Patients must give up caffeine & alcohol for 1 month & must exercise
– 2 weeks before treatment & 2 weeks during treatment
– Exercise 30 minutes a day
– Drink 8 to 10 glasses of water each day


Minneapolis Dermatologic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Patient Candidacy for Lasers Targeting Fat

Dear Sharon,

I suggest all potential patients and parties interested in facial plastic surgery to consult a board certified facial plastic surgeon to receive the highest quality knowledge, treatment, care and skill available. A consultation provides you the opportunity to relay your concerns and desired outcome to the surgeon while the surgeon can assess your health profile and discuss his/her pertinent advice. It is in the consultation that patients realize if they are good candidates for one of the lasers that targets fat.

Here at the Clevens Center, we tend to consider a patient's candidacy for SculpSure before other fat trimming techniques because SculpSure is the best procedure out there. In fact, SculpSure is the only FDA-approved laser to provide the quickest treatment (25-minutes) and easiest recovery (none). Patients complete the treatment and walk out of our office ready to resume their ordinary activities.

Ross A. Clevens, MD
Melbourne Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 121 reviews

Coolsculpting is much more effective!

The main difference is the removal of fat cells. The Zerona perforates fat cells and the cells begin to leak. The lipids released from the cells are eliminated through the lymphatic system. The gradual leaking of the cells leads to fat cell shrinkage but the fat cells will remain active in the body. Coolsculpting freezes and destroys fat cells. Fat cells treated with Coolsculpting die off completely. The body gradually eliminates the cells. Once those fat cells have been removed, they are gone permanently.

Gregory Turowski, MD, PhD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

Coolsculpting versus Zerona

Hands down, I would recommend Coolsculpting over the Zerona system.  I have seen patients treated with Zerona, and the biggest complaint is the transient nature of the result from Zerona, and the need for multiple treatments.  With Coolsculpting, there is a permanent reduction in the number of fat cells in the treated area and the patient satisfaction is much greater.

Young R. Cho, MD, PhD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Completely different techniques

The two devices have completely different mechanisms of action.  Coolsculpting utilizes freezing temparature to reduce the fatty bulges without damaging the skin, and Zerona uses phototherapy/light energy to reduce the fat.  I am a big proponant of phototherapy overall, but for fatty bulge reduction, Coolsculpting has much more literature behind it as well as almost 2 million treatment cycles performed to date, with high patient satsifaction.

David Shuter, MD
Jupiter Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

CoolSculpting Vs. Zerona

Thanks for your question. CoolSculpting has proven results with scientific data to back it. We do numerous of treatments everyday in our clinic with amazing results. Hope this helps. 

Brian C. Reuben, MD
Salt Lake City Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Coolsculpting is superior to Zerona

To get approval by the FDA, a manufacturer needs to show that a medical device is 'substantially equivalent' to a device that is already legally approved for that use.  The approval does not prove efficacy.

Coolsculpting, unlike Zerona, has been proven safe and effective for permanent fat reduction in about 4 million treatments world-wide, 5500 clinical trials patients, and more publications in peer reviewed journals than any other noninvasive body contouring device.  Since its original approval, the device technology has also advanced marketly with multiple new applicators of various sizes and shapes to allow a wider range of patients and body areas to be treated effectively and faster.

I hope that helps answer your question. Best wishes.

Heidi A. Waldorf, MD
New York Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

CoolSculpting Vs. Zerona

Cool sculpting permanently removes fat cells from the body while Zerona damages the cells causing the fat cells to leak out  in to the lymph system but the cells will eventually heal themselves.

Edward Stokes, MD
West Hollywood Physician
4.9 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

CoolSculpting or Zerona?

In my opinion, CoolSculpting has proven to be better than Zerona.
The Zerona is cleared for non invasive body contouring whereas the CoolSculpting is cleared for non invasive fat reduction.  So if you are looking to reduce a specific area, CoolSculpting is the better choice.

Suresh Koneru, MD
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

CoolSculpting vs. Zerona: How Do They Compare?

Though CoolSculpting by Zeltiq and Zerona may sound somewhat similar and are often confused for one another, they are very different in the way that they work and their results. CoolSculpting is the only FDA approved treatment that kills the fat cells by freezing them to the point of elimination. These fat cells are killed permanently and do not return. There are no dietary restrictions or exercise programs that are indicated with CoolSculpting, however, those people who maintain a healthy diet and an active lifestyle will get the best out of their results.

Zerona, on the other hand, uses cold laser to disrupt fat cells. The content of the fat cells leak out, but the fat cell remains alive and is not killed. So, the fat cells treated with Zerona can always grow back to their original size after the treatment. That's why it is recommended to be used in conjunction with a regular diet and exercise regimen. While Zerona is FDA approved, this approval is for non-invasive body contouring and not for fat reduction.

We chose CoolSculpting over Zerona as there was overwhelming evidence that CoolSculpting is effective with long-lasting results. The same could not be said for Zerona. In our practice we have used CoolSculpting to treat many patients who previously had Zerona and did not see any results. They have all been very please with their results after just one CoolSculpting treatment!

Michael A. Zadeh, MD, FACS
Sherman Oaks General Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

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.