Zapping The Fat

Tuesday, May 17, 2011 - 9:10am

New "cold laser" targets problem areas.

Francia Ordonez is a personal trainer and works out hard and often.

She was getting good results, but she wanted even more.

"I just want to feel confident when I’m out there. It's almost bikini season. Every woman has a problem area and mine would be the outer thighs and love handles," said Ordonez.

Those are the most difficult areas for most women, as we age, the change in hormones makes it harder to lose the fat from these spots.

Surgery and liposuction are painful and take a long time to recover from.

Francia decided to try a newer procedure, one that targets those trouble spots.

There are many variations of this approach, but this one is called by the brand name "Zerona," and the doctors who use it say this cold laser reduces the size of fat cells in the body.

The machine looks like an octopus with five arms, and each projects laser beams onto the stomach, thighs, and waist areas; all in an attempt to sculpt your body into how you'd like it to look.

"The laser will hit through the skin to the fat cells, and once it hits the fat cells, it makes little tiny holes in the fat cells allowing the fat to flow out of the fat cells and into the lymphatics. Then it goes into circulation where it can be metabolized," said Dr. Christopher Ho, a dermatologist.

Each session takes about one hour, and about six sessions in two weeks for a full effect.

There is no anesthesia, no painkillers needed, and no down time.

Dr. Ho says most patients can go home right after the procedure, and he says results are best if they work out during the two weeks of the treatment.

He also tells his patients to avoid coffee and alcohol during the course of the treatment since those beverages can change the water balance in your body.

He says the procedure is safe, but may not be a good idea for people with thyroid or metabolic conditions.

Francia says she has experienced no side effects at all and started seeing results after two weeks.

"I just started noticing that everything started getting tinier. I'm ready. I'm going to feel a lot more confident than I did last year in a bikini," said Ordonez.

The Zerona procedure costs about a thousand dollars, and Dr. Ho says the results are better for women than for men.

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