Q: I read an article by you on non-surgical fat reduction and understand from your writings that you have one of Erchonia’s Zerona cold laser devices. I was wondering if you have had any experience or success with reducing large lipomas?
A: Your question represents a common and understandable misconception about lasers in general and the Zerona device in particular. Almost everyone envisions a laser as a device which shoots a beam which melts, explodes or destroys the target. This would be a high energy focused ‘hot’ laser and is the most typical laser concept that is employed around the world. The Zerona device, however, is a ‘cold’ laser meaning it does not shoot high energy beams toward its target. Rather it is a very low energy photochemical light which causes a reaction that has a much different effect on the targeted fat cells. It passes through the skin, without injury or discomfort, and causes the fat cells to become temporarily ‘leaky’. This releases some fat and, if done enough times, the fat volume in the targeted area will decrease in size.
Because of the way the cold laser works, its effect will not have any impact on the concentrated tumor fat of a lipoma. It simply is the wrong type of laser energy.
There is a laser method for lipoma treatment that does use a hot focused laser. Under local anesthesia, the fiberoptic probe of the Smartlipo (laser liposuction) machine can be introduced into the lipoma and activated for a few seconds. This melts the center of the lipoma and can definitely shrink its size and/or destroy it completely. This does require a tiny little incision into the skin to pass the probe through so it is a minimally invasive approach but would not properly be called a non-invasive procedure.
Dr. Barry Eppley