Lifewatch: New fat-zapping treatment

Reported by Claire Hosmann - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

(WECT) - There is a new painless laser treatment that some doctors claim removes pounds and inches with no side effects, but one medical expert is skeptical of the new invention.

A woman who tried the treatment said she lost 3.5 inches around her waist in less than an hour, but some health officials warn the results may only be a quick fix.

Promoters of the "Zerona" laser method claim patients can shed up to nine inches with a series of six treatments.

"With traditional liposuction, you are actually removing the fat cells from the body," said Angela di Carleo, Liberty MD.  "With Zerona, you're shrinking the fat cells."

The treatment dissolves fat and slims your body, without surgery, incisions, pain, or scaring.

"You're up and you're out, and you resume normal activities," said di Carleo.  "I think that's very attractive to a lot of people."

The laser is FDA certified.  The company that makes it says Zerona works by zapping the fat cells and releasing excess tissue through the body's lymph system.

But not everyone is on board with the new treatment.  Dermatologist Dr. Mitch Goldman has his doubts.

"For a machine to lose 3 to 7 inches or get 2 to 7 dress sizes with a series of six treatments with a laser light is almost beyond my imagination," said Goldman.

Goldman said he used a version of the laser, combined with liposcution on some weight loss patients.  He says results from the laser were minimal.

While the company that developed Zerona has published test studies showing the treatment works.

"To the best of my knowledge, this machine has never been proven in a peer-reviewed clinical study to be effective," said Goldman.

A series of six Zerona treatments costs about $2,500.  Experts say patients must continue to exercise and eat well, or the fat will come back.