Zerona is a low-level laser applied for non-invasive body slimming of the waist, hips, and thighs. It has been shown to disrupt adipocyte, or fat cell, membranes causing the release of stored lipids and fatty material, in turn, promoting adipocyte collapse. The device was first introduced to the market in 2008 as an off-label use device for slimming. The Zerona laser was the first aesthetic device to receive this clearance by the FDA. Initial trials for the Zerona began back in late 1998 in Cali, Colombia by Dr. Rodrigo Neira and his wife Dr. Clara Neira at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia. They first applied the device as an adjunct to liposuction to reduce pain and inflammation commonly experienced after the invasive surgical procedure. Low level lasers were used prior to the operation. When the doctor went in to extract the fat it flowed out like water. Fascinated with this finding, Dr. Neira and his wife started performing investigations to determine why laser had this unique biological influence on fat tissue. Under a microscope, they observed the formation of transitory pores or openings in the protective membranes of fat cell which enabled stored fat to drain out. The next logical transition was to position this technology as a non-invasive body slimming application.
As you can see the Zerona® treatment liquefies the fat and the cell dumps it into the intercellular space. There are two types of fat cells – Subcutaneous (soft squishy fat) and Visceral (very firm fat). Subcutaneous fat is located directly above the skeletal muscle and below the skin. The low level laser is able to penetrate subcutaneous fat, but cannot break through visceral fat. Patients containing a high volume of visceral fat (fat below the skeletal muscle) are not ideal candidates for this procedure.