No matter how much we diet and exercise, sometimes there are trouble spots that just refuse to budge. Liposuction is one option, but it's expensive and invasive. Now there's an alternative--a cold laser that claims to melt fat, but how well does it work?
Bo Chamberlain doesn't like what she sees in a full-length mirror.
"It seems like when I diet, below the knee gets attractive, you know, I lose it in my face and the rest of me is like...really?"
She thought she would just have to accept her trouble spots as an inevitable part of the aging process.
"I think we hit that middle age and we lose our pretty girl. We've put on weight and think this is the way it's going to be," she said.
She hopes the Zerona laser will prove that theory wrong.
Dr. Tami Meraglia of Vitality Medispa says the device is designed for body sculpting, not for shedding pounds.
"They may lose a little weight, but it really is targeting inches because it's taking the fat cells and it is deflating them."
Bo will have to do her part, too, with exercise and a healthy diet. So wouldn't that account for the results?
Dr. Meraglia points to double-blind studies conducted by the company that show the Zerona is effective on its own. Her goal is to help patients get maximum results and make healthy lifestyle changes in the process.
"It's not coming here and expecting you to be fixed. You have to do your part, but it's really going to accelerate your results and it's going to take you to a place you wouldn't be able to get on your own."
Bo will have nine 40-minute treatments. She'll feel nothing. Zerona is not invasive like liposuction, but not as effective either. Dr.Meraglia says the best candidates are in the overweight category--with what she calls "jiggly" fat.
"The softer the fat, the quicker it goes."
So where does the fat go? According to the manufacturer, the laser punctures the fat cells temporarily, liquefying their contents, which then are flushed out of the body naturally. Dr Meraglia says one study shows treatments can even lower triglyceride levels.
Five weeks later, Bo has lost a total of seven inches overall, with the biggest improvement coming in her muffin top area.
She says her clothes are fitting better, she's gained confidence and is committed now to sticking with a health diet and exercise.
Best of all, the results have allowed her to looking at aging with a difference perspective.
"No longer am I , oh really, so this is 50. I'm like ohhhh...So This is 50!"
Not all doctors are convinced that the Zerona laser works, but the company does offer free additional treatments if the patient doesn't get the expected results of at least three-inches lost. The device is FDA cleared. Cost for a series of treatments ranges from $1800 to $2400.