Dr. Paul M. Thaxton MD - 706-922-1717

Zerona FAQ

ZERONA is an FDA cleared device that helps you contour your body, lose inches and remove stubborn body fat without having painful plastic surgery procedures!

ZERONA works by painlessly creating small pores in the walls of the fat cells to start the inch loss process. While the cells remain healthy and alive, the fat is emptied out of the cells through the open pores.Our bodies then safely and naturally eliminate the fat using the lymphatic system which causes you to lose inches in the waist, hips and thighs.

Dr. Paul M. Thaxton is the only certified and licensed Zerona practitioner in the Augusta, Georgia, area. Call Advanced Medical Weight Loss at 706-922-1717 for more information.

What is Zerona?

ZERONA is the first low-level laser specifically designed to remove excess fat and effectively contour and shape the body. Developed by the Erchonia Corporation, Zerona  is the first and only non-invasive, non-surgical 635 nm cold laser alternative to invasive liposuction surgery for body sculpting and contouring!

Following a rigorous placebo-controlled, randomized, double-blind multi-center clinical trial, Zerona was FDA cleared for the reduction of fat in the waist, hip, and thighs in 2010. The Zerona cold laser provides patients with a safer alternative to surgical procedures which can result in bruising, swelling, burns, infection, skin irregularities, and damage to other tissues following surgery.

Unlike other non-invasive approaches, Zerona low-level lasers do not rely on heating or freezing tissue which can damage and destroy tissue and cause discomfort. With no needles, no pain, no anesthesia, and no downtime, patients can resume their normal activities immediately.

How does it work?

Through clinical studies it has been demonstrated that the Zerona® low level laser stimulates the fat cell to emulsify (liquefy) the fat within the cell. Then the liquefied fat moves from inside the cell through a temporary pore formed in the cell membrane to outside the cell where it is in the interstitial space until absorbed by the lymphatic system. The liberated fat is then transported to the liver where it is detoxified and used for energy or discarded as waste. This results in millions of fat cells becoming smaller so inches are reduced off the waist, hips and thighs. The fat cells are not injured in any way by this process allowing them to continue their important endocrine function of producing hormones that decrease appetite.

What areas can be treated with the Zerona LipoLaser?

Virtually any area on the body that has an excess storage of fat can be addressed with Zerona.  This includes the “core area” which consists of the abdomen, hips, and outer thigh area, but we can also treat flabby arms, double chins, love handles, inner thigh and bra-line fat.

What can I expect at my appointments?

You can expect 40 minutes to relax, read, nap, or do absolutely nothing. The Zerona® treatment is completely painless. There is no heat or any sensation whatsoever while being treated. Each treatment you will be met by your physician or technician and taken to a private, quite room where you be positioned under the laser to address the desired areas of the body that need attention. He/she will then step out for 20 minutes while the front of your body is treated and then will return to reset the laser for the backside of your body for an additional 20 minutes. After you are done you can return to your activities immediately with absolutely no downtime, no pain, swelling or any discomfort. This is a symptom –free process except for losing unwanted inches.

What happens if I miss an appointment?

It is not recommended that you miss an appointment. Prior to starting the Zerona® treatment, it is important that you are committed to the recommended lifestyle protocol which includes at least 6 treatments, every other day for 40 minutes and not to exceed 72 hours between treatments. Studies show that fat is liberated through the cell membrane for at least 72 hours so compliance is important.

How is Zerona laser different than liposuction?

Liposuction is a surgically invasive procedure that introduces an intensely hot laser tip into and under the skin to melt and destroy fat cells. A hollow tube called a cannula is then used to remove the destroyed fat cells with the assistance of a powerful vacuum. Liposuction can be accomplished either with the use of general anesthesia, or with IV sedation, or totally by local anesthesia. In the hands of a skilled plastic surgeon, the procedure is considered safe. However, there are drawbacks, unintended consequences, and real risks even in the best of hands.

Drawbacks include costs, downtime, for the procedure, and post-operative recovery time. Risks include excessive bleeding, infection, skin burns, permanent scars, lumpy skin irregularities, delayed healing, accidental injury to other organs, pulmonary fat embolism, and even death.  In contrast, the Zerona® treatment is a 100% non-invasive that uses a low level laser applied externally to stimulate the fat cell to emulsify and release fat. There is no use of anesthesia, no pain, no needles, no risk, and no downtime.

How is Zerona different from other non-invasive body slimming techniques?

The Zerona® laser is the only completely safe and effective non-invasive treatment for body slimming on the market today. In addition, since there is only reduction in the size of the fat cells and no cell or tissue death and destruction like those that occur through heat or freezing, the important endocrine function of the fat cell remains intact allowing appetite suppressing hormones to continue to be produced. There is no risk or possibility of injury. No technician will be pushing on you or using any device against your body. You simply lay beneath the Zerona® lights.

Is there any downtime?

Absolutely ZERO downtime. During the treatment you will feel no discomfort, no anesthesia will be used, and you can assume normal activities immediately following each treatment.

Are there any limitations to what I can do if I’m using Zerona®?

No. During the two-week treatment period you can continue your normal activities. It is strongly recommended that you commit to and follow the treatment protocol: stay hydrated (8-10 glasses of water a day), continue to eat healthy and exercise (walk at least 30 minutes a day) and limit caffeine and abstain from alcohol. Caffeine can dehydrate you making transportation of the fat through the lymphatic system slow and more difficult.  Alcohol can decrease the liver’s ability to metabolize and remove fat efficiently.

On what areas of the body can I use Zerona®?

The Zerona® treatment was proven effective in a multi-center, placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical trial on the waist, hips and thighs where localized fat deposits exist that are resistant to diet and exercise. Experience after FDA clearance has also proven effective in other areas as well such as arms, back, chin, knees, bra-line, love handles, and upper abdomen.

Is it covered by insurance?

No, Zerona® treatments are considered elective and are not covered by insurance.

Is it safe?

Yes, there is no risk involved in using the Zerona® low-level laser therapy and it is considered a safe alternative to invasive procedures such as tumescent liposuction and lipodissolve and other non-invasive devices like the Accent, VelaShape, and Thermage , which rely on heating the tissue and can cause discomfort and tissue damage. None of these have the proven data showing how fat cell size is reduced like the Zerona®. The Zerona® treatment is 100% non-invasive and causes no bruising, scaring and zero downtime. Results are noticeable within 2 weeks as opposed to having to wait several months like some procedures. During the treatment you will feel no discomfort, no anesthesia will be used, and you can assume normal activities immediately following each treatment.

Is it safe if I have a medical condition such as diabetes?

Yes, with two exceptions. If you are pregnant or think you may be pregnant, Zerona® should not be used. Additionally, if you have a pacemaker, this treatment may not be for you. There are no known detrimental risks but potential unknown risks may exist. Zerona® may not be as effective on patients with uncontrolled diabetes or lymphatic systems that transport fat poorly or have been disrupted.

Are there any side effects?

No. The treatment process is completely non-invasive and there are absolutely no side effects beyond loss of inches and fat.

How long has the Zerona® laser been used?

The Zerona® has been used in studies since 2008 and has been used by physicians in practice since early 2009. The same Erchonia® Low Level Laser technology has been used to safely assist with tumescent liposuction since 2001 as it was proven to cause fat to be released from fat cells immediately prior to liposuction surgery. From this important experience, the Zerona® technique was developed for effective, totally non-invasive body slimming.

Is it effective?

Yes, with the Zerona® treatment and by following the recommended guidelines for success, we saw an average loss of 3.64 inches reported in our clinical trial on the waist, hips, and thighs. Subsequently, many physicians have seen even greater results when other sites are included.

How long do results last?

Fat cells can increase 1,000 fold in volume and 10 fold in size. Once the fat cell has been deflated to its smaller healthier size, it is more resistant to change. By maintaining a healthy diet and exercise lifestyle, you can expect long-term results. Zerona® is especially ideal for 2 types of people: those that are already following a healthy diet and lifestyle and want to remove stubborn localized pockets of fat OR those who want to use the Zerona® and the recommended lifestyle protocol to “jump start” their slimming efforts for weight loss as motivation for maintaining a healthier and slimmer lifestyle.

Can I do the procedure multiple times? And how soon after my last treatment can I do a second treatment?

Yes, with additional treatments you can expect to see even more improved results. You can start an additional series of Zerona® treatments immediately following your last treatment. Speak to your technician or physician about any discount programs that may apply.

How soon after pregnancy can I do it?

It is recommended that you wait until after your last postpartum visit with your doctor (usually 6 weeks after birth) to begin your Zerona® treatment. It is not recommended if you are breast feeding although there are no known adverse side effects.

How long does it take to begin seeing results?

Some can see results after only a few treatment sessions as their clothes fit more loosely. Most actually see the difference after their 4-6 sessions. Family and friends often notice the difference, too, within the 2 week Zerona® program.

Is everyone a good candidate for the Zerona® treatment?

Most everyone is a good candidate. Even people who are not overweight can lose inches in unwanted areas like muffin tops or saddle bags that don’t respond to diet and exercise. Be sure to discuss your health background with Dr. Thaxton and ask any questions about your particular areas of concern.