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Fat Burning Lasers for Surgical Body Sculpting

The hottest news in fat removal is lasers that claim to melt your fat away. To be clear, none of the FDA approved
devices out there can turn your solid butter, unwanted fat into liquid vegetable oil.
Fat melting lasers can be broken down into two groups. The first group consists of lasers used for surgical laser
lipolysis. With these lasers, a laser fiber is typically inserted under the skin into anesthesized fatty tissue to break
down the fat cells with heat. Smartlipo by Cynosure was the first brand to hit the market in the United States, but
now there are at least half a dozen of such lasers being commonly used for this purpose. Other more common
lipolysis lasers include Coolipo by Cool Touch, Inc., Lipotherm by Osyris, Prolipo by Sciton, LipoLite from
Syneron, SlimLipo by Palomar, Smooth Lipo by Elena Medical, and Lutronic Accusculpt, to name a few.

The wavelengths (the particular part of the light spectrum for the laser beam) of these lasers are selected to break
down fat cells with heat and stimulate some degree of tightening of the skin. When collagen is heated to about 42
degrees Celsius, a shrink wrap effect is produced in the skin over the months that follow.

Once the fat is emulsified (broken down), it is then typically removed by gentle suction using thinner, more delicate
instruments that cause much less trauma and pain to the body than traditional liposuction instruments. That is why
the fat can be removed without potentially risky general anesthesia. Instead, local anesthetic fluid is spread into the
fat that will be removed, to make the fat removal painless. Less trauma also translates into less post-operative pain,
less need for narcotic pain medication, and faster recovery. Most patients are back to work in 3 to 4 days and
exercising within one week.

The best candidates are those who are close to their ideal body weight with resistant areas that are not responding to
proper diet and exercise. Most medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, thyroid abnormalities, and
heart problems must be stabilized first. You should also cease smoking several weeks prior to the procedure date.

Fat Melting Lasers for Body Slimming

The second group of fat melting lasers are used externally and do not produce any heat at all. These lasers work
by shining the light through the relatively transparent skin into the fat cells below the surface. The beam then
triggers a photochemical reaction in the fat cells that cause them to open their pores, allowing the fat to leak out.
The fat cell (adipocyte) goes from a plump fat-laden grape into a smaller shriveled raisin. With moderate exercise
the contraction of the muscles below the fatty layer stimulate the now extracellular (outside of the fat cell) fat to be
pumped into the lymphatic system of vessels. From there, the fat is carried through the bloodstream to eventually
be metabolized in the liver as fuel for the body.

The reduction in size occurs gradually over the 2-3 weeks during which the treatments are being performed about
every other day. There is a generalized reduction of fat and inches in the area, but not the precise body sculpting
that can be achieved with the surgical fat removal using Smartlipo or Vaser LipoSelection.
The most popular of theses types of lasers, often referred as diode lasers is Zerona by Erchonia. Lipo-Ex is also a
non-contact, relatively painless, device to reduce subcutaneous fat that uses bipolar radiofrequency (RF) energy
instead of light, to slightly heat up tissue under the skin very gradually. In theory, this increases the metabolic
breakdown as the fat. As with the Zerona, the fat melted by Lipo-Ex is also removed by the bodys lymphatic
The best results are achieved when the person is exercising regularly, as this improves the lymphatic clearance of
the fat released from the cells. Results are also enhanced, of course, when you are eating properly and not trying to
plump up those fat cells again.

The best candidates for these non-surgical lasers are individuals who are within 20 to 30 pounds of their ideal
body weight who desire a slimmer look in a general area of the body, such as thighs, buttocks, back or waistline.
Since the fat cells are not physically removed, as they are with Vaser Lipo or Smartlipo, repeat rounds of treatments
or maintenance treatments are often recommended every few months.

If you are considering any of these procedures, a personal consultation and examination with the surgeon is the
only way to determine which options are best for you.

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

Fat Burning Lasers for Surgical Body Sculpting

What is SmartLipo?
SmartLipo is a remarkable method for removing unwanted body fat through a low-pain, highly efficient process. Instead of the
bulky tubes and uncomfortable office visits required of traditional liposuction, SmartLipo utilizes smaller instruments and
specialized technology to zap fat cells for contouring and reshaping areas of the body including the abdomen, love handles,
backs, thighs, hips, knees, arms, neck, jowls, and chin. The SmartLipo laser is the first and only available FDA-approved laser
device to rupture the membranes of the fat cells, which allows for the absorption and elimination process of excess adipose

How does SmartLipo work?

Through a special laser similar to that used in cataract surgery, fat cells are targeted and the heat energy literally dissolves the
cells on contact. A gentle suction then siphons the dissolved fat out of the body. A very small percentage is retained, absorbed
into the body, and excreted as waste within 24 hours. Worries about the safety of the laser should be quelled, if the doctor is
experienced and knowledgeable in laser physics.

What is Vaser Lipo? Is it different than traditional liposuction?

Vaser Lipo is a minimally invasive procedure that precisely and efficiently removes unwanted body fat. An alternative to the
harsh techniques of traditional liposuction, Vaser Lipo uses state-of-the-art ultrasound technology designed to gently reshape
your body. What distinguishes the Vaser Lipo procedure is its ability to differentiate targeted fat from other important tissues
such as nerves, blood vessels and connective tissue. Innovative VASER technology breaks up fat while conserving these other
important tissues. Only the Vaser Lipo procedure uses the proprietary VASER System to first liquefy fat and then remove it
from the body to promote smooth results and rapid healing with only low to minimal pain.

What happens during Vaser Lipo?

First, the area to be reshaped is filled with a special saline solution that helps numb the site and shrink the blood vessels (to
minimize blood loss and reduce bruising). This solution wets and fills the area to be treated, making it easier to break up fatty
tissue with the Vaser Lipo Systems ultrasound energy. Then a small probe transmits sound energy (similar to that used for
cataract removal from the eye) to fragment fatty tissue on contact while leaving other important tissues largely intact. Finally,
the liquefied fat is removed through a gentle suction process designed to minimize damage to surrounding tissues.
What are the common areas for SmartLipo or Vaser Lipo Procedure?
SmartLipo or Vaser Lipo has the advantage of being able to treat small areas such as face, knees, anterior axillary fat pads
(fatty pooch in front of armpits), forearms and the upper abdomen that have previously proven unsuitable with conventional
liposuction equipment. With the introduction of laser lipo or Vaser Lipo, treatment of small areas are now possible due to the
size of the cannulas which are thinner than a strand of pasta, some measuring less than 1mm in diameter. This allows treatment
of the localized pockets of fat in previously hard to reach areas and can reduce up to 500mls of fat per area in a single
SmartLipo or Vaser Lipo procedure session. This makes it ideal for problem areas such as double chins, jowls, love handles and
male breast tissue (gynecomastia).

Using the finer, more delicate instruments, Vaser Lipo can correct irregularities left over from previous liposuction operations
in a matter of minutes.

Larger areas traditionally treated with tumescent liposuction can also be reduced more effectively by melting the fat and
tightening the skin prior to aspirating (sucking) the fat with Smartlipo or Vaser Lipo. Depending on the areas and the size of the
patient, sometimes over five liters of fat can be removed from the body in just one day.

Is Vaser Lipo right for me?

If you are frustrated by the resistance of certain body areas to diet and exercise, Vaser Lipo can provide a solution. If you are
healthy and seeking a fast, low-pain solution for losing stubborn fat deposits, the Vaser Lipo procedure could be your answer.
Patients who say they would have never considered liposuction are now finding the Vaser Lipo procedure is a minimally
invasive option for the achievement of their body reshaping goals. Although there are limits to the amount of fat that can be
removed, your surgeon can assist you with your decision about potential areas for contouring, anticipated results, and the
recovery process.

What will happen during my visits with Dr. Raul Rodriguez?

Prior to your actual procedure, you will need to schedule a consultation appointment with Dr. Rodriguez. During this visit you
will discuss your goals for the Vaser Lipo and your expectations. You will also need to share your medical history and other
relevant information. You will be asked to bring all medications and supplements you are taking, including fat burning pills.
After your medical examination, Dr. Rodriguez will inform you of the realistic expectations you can achieve based on your
initial body state and the lifestyle modifications you plan to make.

It is important to recognize that though Vaser Lipo is highly effective, it is only appropriate for patients wishing to lose fat
bulges in isolated areas to sculpt a better contour. Vaser Lipo will not provide satisfactory results for persons needing to lose
significant amounts of weight -- such patients require alternate methods for weight loss. Dr. Rodriguez will counsel you on the
method that is most appropriate.

What is the cost of Vaser Lipo Procedure?

Fees for Smartlipo or Vaser Lipo in the Houston or Dallas area are dependent upon the size of the treated area and the number
of areas to be treated. It can range from $3500 to $4500 per area. After your consultation and examination, a more specific
costing can be advised.

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

Zerona from

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. 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.

What can I expect at my appointments?

You can expect 40 minutes to relax, read 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 who will
position the laser at the desired areas of the body, he/she will step out for 20 minutes while the front of your body is treated and
then will return to reset for the backside of your body for an additional 20 minutes. After you are done you can get back to your
normal activities immediately with absolutely no downtime, nor pain, swelling or any discomfort. This is a symptom free
process except for losing unwanted inches.

How is it different than liposuction?

Liposuction is an invasive procedure that removes the entire area of fat cells from deposits beneath the skin using a hollow
stainless steel tube (called a cannula) 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 contrast, the Zerona treatment is a 100%
non-invasive that uses a low level laser applied externally to stimulate the fat cell and emulsify and release fat. There is no use
of anesthesia, nor any pain, gels, creams, numbing agents, needles and no downtime.

How is it 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.
There is no 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 Im using Zerona?

No. During the 2 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 abstain from alcohol and caffeine. Alcohol and caffeine interfere with the lymphatic process to
remove fat and metabolize it which can decrease your results.

On what areas of the body can I use Zerona?

The Zerona treatment can be used effectively on essentially every part of the body where localized fat deposits exist that are
resistant to diet and exercise. Most patients start with treating the waist, hips and thighs which can all be targeted in 1
treatment. Other areas include upper arms, bra-line fat, inner knees, back fat and buttocks.

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. 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. 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 diabetes or thyroid disorders where the metabolic system is potentially

Are there any side affects?

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 is 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, you can expect to experience a loss
of 3 9 inches from your waist, hips and thighs and a reduction in clothes size. Additionally, early patients have noticed an
improvement in the appearance of cellulite.

How long do results last?

By maintaining a healthy diet and exercise 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 localized pockets of fat or drop body fat % OR
those who (delete that) want to use the Zerona and the recommended lifestyle protocol to jump start their slimming efforts 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 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.

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. Many actually see the difference after
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 are good candidates. Even people who are not overweight can lose inches. Be sure to discuss your health background
with your physician and ask any questions about your particular areas of concern.

If your have an interest in viewing Zerona treatment, you can visit

Raul P. Rodriguez, M.D.

Cosmetic Surgery
Aesthetic Medicine

Houston area call 713-523-2500

Dallas & Fort Worth areas call 214-234-0413

Click on the link below to view the patient video of fat burning Vaser Lipo: