Zeltiq and Zerona – fat melting without surgery

Zeltiq and Zerona – fat melting without surgery

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Want to be fascinated by scientific inventions? Technology in your pocket is enough for this purpose! If you just start thinking about your mobile, you cannot resist admiring the fascinating technology. It communicates through invisible waves in the air. Its screen can produce any imaginable color and show you things around the world. How this tiny thing has a brain and a memory of its own. The more you think, the more astonished you will be. 

However, you still struggle to remove a few pounds from your body, a few inches from your waist and love handles you’ve always hated! Will technology ever be able to help you get your desired body, without hours of jogging and your evenings spent in the gym? Hope for the best, but for now, it is anybody’s guess.

Imagine going to a clinic or spa, sitting in a room similar to a sauna and coming back home refreshed after half an hour. The next morning you can’t wear your trouser because your waist has been reduced a couple of inches and you cannot find your love handles. Well, this is only possible in science fiction movies still, but companies and researchers are continuously working to make science fiction a reality. Here is a review of two latest fat melting technologies, approved by FDA in 2010. 


Zeltiq (pronounced Zel ‘teek) developed a technique to destroy fat cells by cooling called cold-assisted lipolysis. It reduces the size of fat layer to reduce waist, love handles, thighs, buttocks, and sagging arms and neck. According to Jennifer MacGregor, a dermatologist and assistant professor at Georgetown University Hospital, “the idea is centered on well-understood facts, and the animal and human studies have yielded consistent results”.

The patient relaxes in a chair; operator puts a gel pad over the area to be treated to protect the skin. The Zeltiq device sucks the bulge and exposes the fat to cooling for around one hour. Amazingly, it damages fat cells but does not harm the skin, nerves, and blood vessels. Patients may feel some tingling or numbness. 

Studies showed that about 22 percent of the fat layer dies out for good. The body absorbs and eliminates the dead fat cells automatically. Initially, the FDA was concerned about possible side effects on the liver as the dead fat cells are eliminated, but the studies showed no harm. 


Lasers are hot! But Zerona uses variable-frequency pulsed waves to get rid of unwanted fat deposits. A four-armed device is positioned over the body of the patient. The laser takes 40 minutes a session. The average is six sessions, spread over a period of two weeks. The patient usually does not feel pain or discomfort. 

Zerona causes the formation of pores in the membrane of the fat cells. These pores enable the fatty material to seep out into extracellular space. This material is excreted by the body. The fat cells remain but are much smaller. 

In studies, more than 80 percent participants lost an average of 3.65 inches combined over their thighs, hips, and waist. It is estimated that 75% patients treated are happy with the results. 

Even with all these positive feedback, many dermatologists are still skeptical. They argue that the benefits are minimal and long-term risks still unknown – valid points. 

For moderate to high level of fat deposits, liposuction is still the procedure of choice. The results are more reliable with liposuction. Many people think that these fat melting technologies has replaced liposuction. Maybe in future, but for now, these non-surgical techniques are better suited for mild sculpting. 

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