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 32

CoolSculpting is better than Zerona

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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

Patient Candidacy for Lasers Targeting Fat

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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 124 reviews

Coolsculpting is much more effective!

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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.

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Coolsculpting versus Zerona

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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.

Completely different techniques

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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

CoolSculpting Vs. Zerona

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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 37 reviews

CoolSculpting VS Zerona

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CoolSculpting by Zeltiq has a higher success rate than Zerona. Zerona is a low-level energy laser while CoolSculpting uses controlled temperatures to freeze the fat in targeted areas. Zeltiq Coolsculpting works well with treating “pockets” of fat with no pain.

Daljeet Samra, MD
Pleasanton Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

CoolSculpting vs Zerona Treatments

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In my opinion CoolSculpting results are far superior to Zerona. Of cource I own 3 CoolSculpting devices and no Zeronas. I initially evaluated a Zerona and was not impressed positively with its results. We have performed 4000 CoolSculpting treatments and are very happy with our results. Best Wishes, Maurice Vick MD

Comparison between CoolSculpting and Zerona

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There are a few differences between Zerona and CoolSculpting. Zerona is considered to shrink the fat and not permanently destroy it. Zerona puts a hole into the fat cell and the patient has about 72 hours to do everything they can by eating right working out or being in the sauna to drain those fat cells. However, after 72 hours the fat cell will close back up and is now smaller than when the patient started. For best results of Zerona the patients need to commit to treatment at least 2-3 days a week for 3 months. With CoolSculpting after 1 treatment you are permanently destroying 15%-20% of the fat cells within the applicator placement. Good Luck!   

Gideon Kwok, DO
Rancho Cucamonga Physician
4.9 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Coolsculpting is superior to Zerona

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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 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.