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A Review of Zerona Laser for Fat Reduction

Updated on May 7, 2017
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I'm a published children's book author, magazine writer, and a technology blogger.

Zerona Laser in the Treatment Room

Zerona laser equipment in the med spa treatment room
Zerona laser equipment in the med spa treatment room | Source

What is Zerona?

Zerona is a low-level laser treatment that works to open a microscopic pore in fat cells. Triglycerides and fatty acids in the cells are then passed into the fluid-filled areas around the cells—the interstitial space—where the normal metabolic process work to remove the fat from the body. Zerona is non-invasive, safe, and painless.

I heard about Zerona quite awhile ago on the Dr. Oz show, and thought it would be interesting to try. It's normally not cheap, running about $1,500-$2,500 in major cities, so I didn't pursue it until a local med-spa ran a summer special, offering six Zerona treatments for $299. I signed up immediately.

Disclaimer

This review is based upon my own experience with Zerona. Your experience may differ. Always consult your doctor before following any type of weight-loss approach.

What to Expect

The Consultation

On my first appointment, I pre-paid for the package of six treatments and made all the appointments. For Zerona to work, you have to commit to having the treatment done every other day. If you let too much time (72 hours or more) pass between treatments, the pores in the fat cells will close and your Zerona treatments won't work effectively.

Also on my first appointment, I was giving the treatment protocol by the RN in charge: One week before the first treatment, I was to take 500mg of Niacin daily, drink 8-10 glasses of water daily, eat "clean," and walk or work out every day for at least 30 minutes at a time. This would "rev up" my metabolism and help the Zerona treatment work better. I was also told not to drink anything with caffeine.

Since I normally eat "clean," that is, follow a low-fat, low salt diet devoid of white flour or other empty carbohydrates, I wasn't too fanatical about the diet part, though I did cut my carbohydrate intake somewhat, replacing them with more vegetables. I did add more walking and started taking a boot camp cardio class twice a week.

Adding the Niacin was trickier. Niacin causes flushing, itching and a host of other unpleasant side effects. I asked the RN if I could skip the Niacin. She claimed that the Niacin was an important part of the treatment plan, and that it was necessary to help metabolize fat. So, I started taking Niacin.

Fortunately, I found a slow-release form of Niacin (nicotinic acid) called Slo-Niacin that did not cause me any side effects at all. I took Slo-Niacin starting a week prior to the start of the Zerona treatments and continued to take it for two weeks after the last Zerona treatment.

The Laser Treatments

My first Zerona treatment day began with measurements taken while in my underwear. The RN took measurements at my neck, upper chest, bra-line (ribs,) waist, upper abdomen, hips, upper arms and thighs. She asked if I had any particular areas that I wanted to treat. I chose my mid-section - belly area that included stomach and hips.

The nurse then had me lie on my back (still wearing underwear only) on the treatment table, which was a comfortable massage table. She trained the Zerona laser device so that the center laser pointed just below my navel, and then positioned the remaining four lasers towards my belly and tops of hips.

The laser has a number of pre-programmed protocols, so the nurse basically just had to press a button to start the machine. I could see, but not feel, the red laser light move across my belly in small swirly circular patterns. I was not given any type of eyewear to protect my eyes from the laser, or any type of gown.

After 20 minutes, the Zerona machine automatically shut off. The RN immediately came back into the treatment room and had me turn over onto my stomach. She repositioned the five lasers so that they pointed towards my hips and back-fat areas and then pressed the button to start the machine. Another 20 minutes, and I was done.

Each treatment was much like the first: 20 minutes per side, no protective eyewear and no special instructions other than to lie still. It was not stressful, not difficult, and there were no side effects other than thirst.

Video Overview

My Fat Measurements Each Treatment Day

Body Area
7/3 (start)*
7/3 (start)**
7/5
7/7
7/9
7/11
7/13 (End)*
7/13 (End)**
7/20 (Week Later) **
Neck
13.6
14
14
14.25
14.25
14.25
13.6
14.25
14.25
Bra-line
31.8
31
31
31
31
31
31.8
31
30.25
High bust (underarms)
35.5
34
34
34
35
35
34.5
34.25
34
Waist
32.6
32.5
33
31.75
31.75
32
32.4
31.5
31.5
Mid-abdomen (2" below waist)
34.2
34
34
34
34
35.5
34
33.25
33.25
Hip (widest)
36.2
37
37
37
36.75
37
35.2
37
36.75
Rt Arm (5" from top joint)
11.8
12.25
12.25
12.25
12
13
11.5
12.25
12.5
Lft Arm (5" from top joint)
12.1
12.25
12.25
12.25
12
13
11.5
12.25
12.5
Rt Thigh (8" from hip joint)
22
21.5
21.5
21.5
21.5
21
21.7
21.5
21.5
Lft Thigh (8" from hip joint)
21.8
21
21
21.5
21.5
21.25
21.5
21.5
21.5
Totals in inches
251.8
249.5
250
249.5
249.75
253
247.7
248.75
248
Inches Lost
 
 
 
 
 
 
4.1 *
.75**
1.5**
* Measurement by med spa, ** Measurement by self All measurements in inches. Scroll table horizontally as needed to see complete information.

Review

After each Zerona treatment, I felt thirsty. I drank the requisite six to eight glasses of water daily and kept up with the niacin, cardio and walking. I ate "clean." I did not miss any treatments, sticking with the every-other-day plan.

Measuring Fat

It wasn't that I distrusted the RN, but I did my own measuring to see if I had any noticeable results from treatment to treatment. The RN had told me in advance that the fat loss usually happened during the week following the last Zerona treatment day.

What I found, though, was that the RN's measurements did not exactly match the measurements that I took myself. So I was curious to see if I'd see any fat loss according to my own measurements.

You can see from the table above that my fat measurements didn't show a steady decrease. In fact, some of my body areas actually got larger during the Zerona treatment. Whether this is because I miss-measured, or was a side-effect of boot camp classes, I don't know. It is what it is.

Final Fat Measurements

The RN measured me on the day of my final treatment and said that I lost a total of 4.1" of fat. I asked her what the average loss was that she has seen in the med-spa, but she simply said that it varied from person to person.

When I got home, I measured myself and found that, according to my measurements, I lost .75" of fat - hardly dramatic. I could easily see how my boot camp class and daily walking could have resulted in a loss of .75" from my body.

One week later, I measured again, coming up with a total fat loss of 1.5", again not a dramatic loss and one that could have resulted from boot camp and walking.

Does Zerona Work?

The Three Week Mark

My measurements are stable, and my weight has dropped six pounds. While this could be attributed to Zerona, it could also be due to exercise and eating right. My fat actually feels different, however. My waist and lower abdominal area in particular feel less "fluffy." I'm assuming that the fat cells are smaller and that Zerona may have contributed to this.

I really wanted to be able to say that Zerona worked, but in fairness, I think that it was not a magic bullet, nor did I experience any amazing results. I think that it is also fair to say that Zerona did contribute to my making overall lifestyle changes—fewer carbs, which contribute to higher triglycerides for me, more cardio, and no caffeine.

The Six Month Mark

My weight is back up to where it was pre-Zerona, and nearly all my fat is back. The areas that continues to feel smaller is the area around my rib-cage and my waistline, which is stable at 30.5".

My feeling is that Zerona is not a long-term solution, but one that works for a short time. I think that I would consider doing it again—for the same bargain price I paid—if I had a special event coming up that I wanted to look and feel my best for. Otherwise, diet and exercise is still the way to go for me.

If you are interested in Zerona, talk first to your doctor about it and get an unbiased medical opinion, as well as guidance about making lifestyle changes. Finally, do research on your Zerona provider before committing to treatments or putting down any money.

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