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Beauty Tech Review: Body Contouring - Low Level Laser Therapy


Zerona low level laser therapy can help you lose inches without any pain or downtime.

As cosmetics continues on the trend towards less and less invasive procedures, low level laser therapy (LLLT) has reached body contouring. Patients are thrilled with what they say are significant results from a laser that doesn't ever touch their bodies or require any downtime at all. Some physicians are also saying that it's effective, while others feel that it doesn't offer much benefit.

"We know it causes fat to leak from the cells without injuring the cells, it makes the lipo easier - we knew that," says Dr. Thomas Barnes, Orange County Zerona provider, referring to the beginning of his work with LLLT for fat disruption. "Then the company went to the next step and was able to take the same technology and found that if you put it on the skin to affect the fat longer than 6-8 minutes like we use with lipo... we can get the same result, but we need longer time on skin to affect the fat below it."
Zerona before and after pictures
Zerona Results of Dr. Thomas Barnes

It works by shining a specific light wavelength at the treatment area. "There's 5 spinning lights, you don't feel a thing, it's non-invasive, and actually the fat cells in the body, under the influence of this specialized laser light that is low energy - there's no heat - it causes fat cells to leak some fat safely and if you do it every other day for 2 weeks, during that time you leak the fat and the body's lymphatic system pulls it away into the liver and it's metabolized, so it actually slims the body," says Dr. Barnes.

"They're having fat leave fat cells through a transitory pore that develops under the influence of this particular non-invasive laser light that doesn't destroy tissue. So we can lose 4 or 5 inches - an aggregate - off of hips, thighs and waist." Dr. Barnes points out that this is a non-invasive laser for what he calls body slimming. "Body slimming - we can actually measure thighs before, do 6 treatments, 8 treatments, 10 treatments - however many the patient chooses, and we find we can lose an aggregate number of inches - maybe a half inch to an inch off each thigh, maybe an inch, inch and a half off the waist, an inch, inch and a half off the bra line area, and get up to 4 and 5 inches in those areas."

Dr. Barnes says that he is seeing a systemic effect; though the laser may be aimed at one part of the body, patients and physicians are often seeing inch reduction in areas other than those treated. "I shine the lights there, 20 minutes on the front, 20 minutes on the back, you feel nothing. So your clothes fit better, it's a motivator for a new weight loss program... You also slim off the upper arms, knees and neck, even though those are outside the area we shine the lights. It's primarily hips, waist and thighs - the front 20 minutes, turn over, 20 minutes on the back to get the bra line and love handle areas, and the back of the thighs."

zerona before and after photo
LLLT results of Dr. Elizabeth Vanderveer

While patients are seeing some inches lost, they are not getting the same effect as if they'd undergone liposuction. "Is it the same as body contouring with lipo? No, it's not. Body contouring with lipo is more final, we're removing cells, we can actually contour more. But for people that can't do lipo, afraid of surgery, it's less expensive than lipo. For people that fall into the group that would be happy losing an aggregate of 4, 5, or 6 inches off their body, the Zerona brings now an opportunity where there was nothing like that before."

Dr. Barnes says that some patients find LLLT to be a great motivator to begin a healthy weight loss regimen. "You lose some inches right away, and if you want to lose some weight, it's kind of a motivator to keep you in there - you're actually getting an immediate result in 2 weeks time."

See Dr. Barnes discuss Low Level Laser Therapy here:

dr thomas barnes
Dr. Thomas Barnes
Dr. Thomas Barnes is a Diplomate of the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery in General Cosmetic Surgery and the Board of Certification in Plastic/ Reconstructive Surgery. After graduating from USC of Medicine, Dr. Barnes completed his residency at UCLA. His proven expertise in his field earned him the title of one of the pioneers in laser lipolysis. As an industry expert on SmartLipo, he trains other physicians on the precise art and science of laser assisted liposculpture. His vast experience includes extensive work with a myriad of lasers, fillers and all the latest procedures. He has practiced for over 15 years and is the head of the Cosmetic Surgery and Laser Center in Newport Beach, CA.

American Health and Beauty Beauty Tech Review Body Contouring
American Health and Beauty, in an effort to provide the most up-to-date information to our readers, presents the Beauty Tech Review. The next installment in this ongoing series discusses Body Contouring technology. Join American Health and Beauty editor, Keith Veseleny, as he speaks with leading physicians who share their knowledge on each body contouring platform.

The Beauty Tech Review: Body Contouring - will include: Dr. Mark Schusterman on Traditional Liposuction, Dr. Thomas Barnes on Laser Lipolysis, Dr. Jeffrey Hall and Dr. Victoria Falcone on Tickle Lipo, Dr. David Broadway on Ultrasonic Assisted Liposuction, Dr. Todd Malan on {!Water Assisted Liposuction | Body-Jet}, Drs. Rox Anderson, Henry Chan and Lori Brightman on Zeltiq, Dr. Elizabeth VanderVeer on Injection Lipolysis, and Dr. Thomas Barnes and Dr. Richard D'Amico on Radio Frequency Liposuction.

Previous Beauty Tech Reviews have included the following topics: Laser Lipoloysis and Fractional Resurfacing.