Cosmetic Surgeon Stephen Mulholland on Zerona, a New Fat-Burning Treatment

Everything you need to know.
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Michelle Villett
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Everything you need to know.
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UPDATE: I’ve concluded that this procedure does not work—my feeling is that any weight loss that people experience comes from the supplement, Curva (NOT the Zerona sessions themselves). To read the full series of posts on my experience, see these posts: the pre-treatment measurements and photos, my first two sessions, the mid-treatment measurements, post-treatment measurements and then final measurements. I then started a second round of (six) treatments, but once again did not experience any changes. I believe that LipoSonix sounds more promising.

Like I mentioned on Friday, I'm trying out Zerona—a fat-burning laser—at Toronto's SpaMedica.

You guys probably have a lot of questions. In my circles, I'm finding that they fall in one of two camps: either "You're going to strip down to a paper thong and let a laser blast away your fat—say what?" or "Tell me everything and sign me up immediately!"

So assuming you're in the latter group, I thought I'd share with you a Q&A I did with Dr. Stephen Mulholland, a cosmetic plastic surgeon and owner of SpaMedica. (If his name sounds familiar, you might have seen him on CityLine.)

Now Dr. Mulholland doesn't actually DO the treatments himself—they're done by a trained medical esthetician—but as the owner of the clinic and one of the country's leading experts, he's DEFINITELY in the know about the latest devices for body shaping.

Here's the lowdown on what Zerona does and why he's introduced it to his patients:

Why did you decide to introduce Zerona in your practice? There are so many men and women who have tried every diet with limited success that it was inevitable that fat reduction technologies would be developed. First came the focal reduction technologies, or spot treatments. But Zerona causes a uniform fat loss over the full area being treated, just like in fat loss through dieting. Over 90 percent of people get a response and we can guarantee a loss of 3-9 inches. That means every woman can come down a dress size.

How long has it been available in Canada?

ZeronaLaser

How does the treatment work? The cold laser beam that passes over the body has a 635 nm wavelength and proprietary pulse that creates a microscopic hole in the fat cell membrane. The triglyceride (fat) leaks out and is safely processed by the lymph and digestive systems. It’s whisked out of the body. Tens of millions of cells do this—thus the loss of inches.

What makes Zerona different from previous fat-dissolving treatments? There’s no pain or discomfort of any kind, no downtime, it’s generalized vs. a spot treatment—and it’s guaranteed.

Who is a good candidate for Zerona? Most people will lose inches with Zerona, but I think the people who are going to be the happiest are those who carry that extra 10 or 15 pounds that they just can’t seem to lose—that extra dress size. It’s also best for someone who makes good lifestyle choices—it’s up to you to keep the fat off post-Zerona.

Who should NOT have the procedure? Zerona isn’t right for someone who is pregnant, who has light sensitivity problems or who has unrealistic expectations.

Where are the ideal treatment areas? Will some areas of the body have better results than others? Zerona can be used from neck to knees. It works best in areas that have what I would call “wiggly” fat.

Patients need to have six treatments within two weeks—why does it need to be so often? It takes six treatments scheduled close together for Zerona to effectively open the pores. If you leave it longer than 48 hours between [sessions], the pores can close.

Are there any side effects? No, just disappointment if the patient’s expectations are unrealistic.

What results can most people expect and how quickly are they visible? You can expect [to lose] 3 to 9 inches over multiple areas that will very visible within the two weeks, but optimized in one month. It’s up to you to maintain the lifestyle that will keep the fat from returning. One of the very good things about Zerona is that fat cells are not damaged or removed—it’s a very gentle process. And yes, you can repeat it.

Stay tuned for my next post in this series—all about the pre-treatment photos, measurements... and paper panties I had to wear (no, I'm not joking). In the meantime, let me know if you've got a question I didn't answer yet!

UPDATE: I almost forgot to let you know the pricing. Zerona is sold in a package of six sessions along with a niacin supplement called Curva (which helps the fat flush out more effectively) for $2,999.