I am frequently asked about two new less invasive technologies for liposuction and body contouring: Zerona and Zeltiq. I have been following them closely to see if Denver body contouring patients and Denver lipouction patients might benefit.
Zerona uses a laser applied to the body surface to reduce fat without incisions or recovery time by leaking fat from fat cells. The treatments are about 45 minutes long and should be done at least twice a week for 4 to 6 weeks. So far, I haven’t seen good scientific information to confirm that the mechanism works or that the results are consistent, long- or short-term. On professional Internet message boards I am seeing comments that indicate little, disappointing, or no results. Some plastic surgeons have returned their machines to the manufacturer. As I understand it, if the fat cell “leaks” the fat, but is not destroyed, the changes in contour will be temporary without changing diet and exercise.
Liposuction destroys the fat cell, so less fat accumulates in the treated area creating long-lasting effects. Zeltiq freezes fat by applying the machine to the skin surface, again without incisions. Many of the same issues apply. Will the improvements hold up over time? Will patients feel they got their money’s worth? This New York Times article states the issues well. Whether these technologies have value remains to be seen. As people try them, we’ll see if they are happy with the results and feel they got their money’s worth. We also have to wait for some objective studies done by impartial researchers. I recommend not spending money on treatments that are somewhat unproven. Wait until we have the objective data proving Zerona or Zeltiq to be effective.