The Premiere Site For Celebrity Plastic Surgery By A Real Plastic Surgeon

I'm a Michigan-based Board Certified Plastic Surgeon who has been featured on Dr. 90210. The info here is my opinion alone and should not be taken as fact or as medical advice. I've not treated any of the celebrities presented here.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Does the Zerona Fat Removal Laser Really Work?

You may have seen my segment on the Rachael Ray Show Friday where I discussed the new Zerona laser. Does it really work to reduce inches without pain, downtime, needles, or surgery? The answer is yes.

In my experience, the majority of patients who have Zerona treatments achieve inch loss. The studies appear to show an average of 3-4 inches after 2 weeks of 40 minute treatments every-other-day. This is consistent with what I've seen in my office when measuring four areas: hips, waist, and each thigh. So yes, it does work when the protocol is followed. It is the only machine that I know of that can do this.

That being said, there are people who do not get 3-4 inches of loss. For this reason I've instituted a policy where the patient receives a $1000 credit towards the procedure of their choice if they do not achieve at least 3 inches of total loss from the four areas. Why not refund the whole fee? The company that makes the machine leases it on a "per use" basis. That means that every time I use the machine I pay them a fee which I cannot get refunded.

So overall, the Zerona appears to be a safe, effective way to reduce inches without pain or downtime. It's not a valid substitute for liposuction, though, since the results are not nearly as dramatic as surgery. As time goes on, I expect that we'll find ways to improve the technology and protocols to get even more impressive results. Until then, it's not a bad deal at all!

Thanks for reading.
Michigan-based Plastic Surgeon
Anthony Youn, M.D.


Michael C. Pickart, M.D., F.A.C.S. said...

Dear Dr. Youn,

I have heard the hype about the Zerona too. So far, the business model (with a lease rather than outright purchase) is even more exciting than the results!

I am holding off on the Zerona. Like you, I never want to take advantage of a patient. If she is going to spend $3000, then she better get a good result. I don't want anyone to feel as if she has been swindled.

Keep me posted on the Zerona. If the long-term results remain promising, I'll get one for my practice.

Michael C. Pickart, M.D., F.A.C.S.

Dr Hainer said...

The real question however for me is mechanism of action. Mesotherapy has been hailed by the European community yet in this country it is met with great skepticism,and rightly so. There is little valid science as to what happens to the emulsified fat and the process of excretion. Therefore, if as a surgeon and scientist you have reservations about mesotherapy,how can you justify the Zerona? Irrespective of results,the real question is science. For me, I feel uncomfortable providing a service or technology that isn't proven. That's the only way I can sleep at night.

Dr. Tony Youn said...

Actually, there are many treatments that physicians use regularly where the mechanisms of action are unknown, yet we know that they are safe and effective and therefore we recommend them to our patients. Latisse is a great example of this, as are many psychiatric medications. More important to me than the mechanism of action is the efficacy and safety. There is a huge difference between the Zerona and Mesotherapy. There have never been any complications associated with the Zerona or its related low light lasers, whereas the horrific complications of mesotherapy abound. There are studies which attest to the safety of the low light laser used in the Zerona even in our Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Journal. These studies are lacking with mesotherapy. Finally, unlike mesotherapy, the Zerona is made by one company to the same specifications. Mesotherapy is basically any doctor's witch's brew of whatever they want to inject into their patients.
The Zerona is no substitute for liposuction, since its results are not nearly as impressive as what I can get with lipo, but it does appear to be a valid, minimally-invasive modality as far as I can tell.