i-Lipo vs. Zerona: Laser Liposuction Face-Off

by Marisa Amorasak


Thanks to celebrity fans like Kim Kardashian and Kim Zolciak, non-surgical laser liposuction is one of the cosmetic market’s hottest ways to lose fat. This body contouring procedure uses the harnessed power of laser light to emulsify excess fat from the hips, thighs, belly, buttocks, and other trouble spots. It’s the ideal treatment for patients who don’t need full-fledged surgical liposuction, but still have some jiggle they’d like to see disappear. The most popular laser liposuction choices are i-Lipo and Zerona. Since both companies claim to use the best lasers and techniques, it’s hard to distinguish the two. Read on for in-depth information on i-Lipo and Zerona.

Zerona Makes Fat Removal Pain-Free

In 2008, Zerona was one of the first laser body contouring systems to enter the cosmetic market. By 2010, it had successfully passed FDA approval and quickly gained a following of patients looking to slim down without surgery. Zerona uses a low-level laser to irritate fat cell membranes, eventually resulting in total fat cell collapse. The Zerona process is quick—each session lasts about 40 minutes. During a Zerona session, a laser is placed above the treatment area and the patient can relax for the remainder of the treatment. Since Zerona uses cold (ie, low-level) lasers, it’s completely painless and nearly sensationless. Most medspas and plastic surgery clinics will create a treatment plan for you at time of purchase regarding the number of sessions and scheduling. A starting point of 6 sessions is typical, but you may need more or less depending on your existing fat levels and desired results. After your Zerona sessions have been completed, patients are asked to exercise in order to drain emulsified fat from the body.

i-Lipo Uses Direct Contact and Greater Wavelengths

i-Lipo also came onto the fat-loss scene in 2008 with the intent to make non-surgical weight loss a reality. i-Lipo uses a low-level laser of 650 nanometers, just slightly more than Zerona’s 635. It’s important to note that i-Lipo’s laser isn’t necessarily stronger—laser nanometers measure the wavelength distance, not power. Still, i-Lipo’s extra nanometers mean that it will be ever so slightly better at penetrating the skin than Zerona. Experts recommend 6-8 sessions of i-Lipo, depending on your body fat and desired results. The main difference between i-Lipo and Zerona is the way in which the treatments are administered. i-Lipo uses four pads that sit directly on your skin throughout the session. Patients report that they feel a gentle warming sensation. Proponents of Zerona believe that i-Lipo’s direct contact result in greater fat breakdown, but no evidence has been found to suggest this.

That’s not to say that studies haven’t been completed on the body contouring procedures. One i-Lipo study showed that 79% of patients experiences inch loss results, with an average loss of .98 to 4.9 inches. Currently, no studies have been completed on Zerona’s ability to melt fat. Both are FDA-approved, which says more about their safety than their efficiency. “Most devices are approved using the so-called 510(k) process,” explained Florida plastic surgeon Dr. Thomas Fiala. “In simple terms, if there’s an existing gadget that’s pretty similar to the new one, and that one’s OK, then the FDA will clear the new one, too. If they are different, the FDA will make a new category. But they don’t test the devices for effectiveness. And that’s the problem.”

Find an i-Lipo or Zerona Doctor Near You

Bottom line: it’s important to find a procedure that truly works for you. If you’re interested in getting laser-powered liposuction, the next step is to talk to a plastic surgeon or fat-loss specialist with experience in these procedures. New Image Specialists chooses only top-rated, reputable aestheticians and board-certified plastic surgeons to be included in their elite network. Find a doctor in your area, then contact our representatives today to schedule a personal consultation.

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