Have you noticed the signs? The skirts or jeans you were wearing last summer- are a little more snug than you remember. That stretchy, body-skimming top- may now be highlighting an extra little curve, bump, or ripple.  Yes, it could be “Winter Waistline.”

Loosing inches

For many of us, winter lifestyles include spending more time indoors, attending lots of holiday events, dinners, parties, and catching up on entire seasons of our favorite TV series – in one sitting. On top of that, “cookie-making” (and tasting) gets redefined as an “activity.”

And now we’re feeling and seeing the effects of a little less exercise, and a lot of tasting.

Ready to get rid of some of the excess? The ‘goo’ that’s just appeared, or the stubborn areas of fat that just won’t go anywhere on their own? If you think so, it could be time to think about options for fat reduction.


  • Rule #1 (and 2, and 3) – Start moving (you don’t have to do anything organized- walking has been shown to be among the best forms of exercise!)
  • Cut down (we won’t tell you to “cut out” completely) on the high fat, high carb, high sugar foods.

Why are we telling you this, when we offer so many cosmetic options for removing fat? Because we want you to be healthy- for life. We always tell our patients first and foremost:  Anything we do is an adjunct to, not a substitute for – a healthy diet and active lifestyle.


If that sounds like you, then it could be time to look into a few of those other options. For truly stubborn fat deposits in different areas of the body; abdomen, flanks, hips, thighs, back- Liposuction can offer a solution. The procedure has been around for many years, and has undergone technological changes to make it more effective.


  • Low-frequency ultrasonic waves are used with the Vaser Liposuction method, to rupture and loosen fat cells. The process makes it easier to remove the excess fat.
  • Damage to surrounding tissue is minimized.
  • Bruising is minimized.
  • The ultrasonic technology has the added effect of tightening the overlying skin and tissue and stimulating collagen production.
  • Vaser, and other Liposuction procedures are usually completed in one surgical session. Both small, and larger amounts of fat can be removed.
  • Once fat cells are removed through liposuction, they are not likely to reappear in the same area.
  • Liposuction is a surgical option. You will have some form of anesthesia, one or more incisions, and a post-surgical recovery period.


There are non-surgical treatments that are very effective, IF you are looking for small or moderate fat reduction in targeted areas. What does that mean?

–       You’d like moderate reduction in the waist, ‘love handles’, abdomen, back, arms, hips, or thighs.

–       You’d like your clothing to fit a little better.

–       You have a special event coming up- and want some reduction without downtime for surgery.

–       You want to jumpstart a weight loss and fitness program

There are a number of treatments, so, in the interest of space, we’ll touch on two of them; ZERONA and CoolSculpting.


Zerona is the product name of what’s known as a “cold laser” treatment. Low-level laser light energy is used to collapse fat cells. The fatty material that was inside, is liquefied and flushed from the body over time.

During the treatment, you lie on a table, with the multiple laser lights of the Zerona machine focused on the places you want reduced. Each session lasts about 40 minutes. (20 minutes on one side, turn over, and 20 minutes on the other side.) The laser never “touches” you, so there is no pulling, pressure, squeezing, and no burning.

Most of our San Jose Zerona patients describe the treatments as relaxing and pleasant.

–       A series of treatments is usually recommended for best results. Most patients find they do best with from 6 to 9 sessions, scheduled over a 2 to 3 week period.

–       No surgery or recovery time.

–       No bruising.

–       Measurable results: You will be measured before and after. Your measurements will let you know how many inches you’ve lost in individual areas, as well as your combined, total-body loss.

–       You may also note the difference in the fit of your clothing.

–       You’ll be given instructions on increasing your fluid intake, to help flush the released, liquefied fat from your system.

–       Zerona is the first non-invasive Body Contouring device, to be granted FDA clearance.

–       The treatment may be repeated, if you desire.

CoolSculpting – (Zeltiq)

This procedure has also received FDA clearance for fat reduction, and again, is an option for those who seek “modest” reduction. This process freezes and kills fat cells.

–       One treatment can take between 1 and 3 hours.

–       A device is positioned on your body (a targeted “bulge” on your abdomen, or other area you want reduced, will be placed between two “cooling panels.”  You may feel a firm pull and pressure.) The device is left in place for an hour or more, and then removed.

–       Patients often choose multiple treatments, for other areas, over a period of time.

–       Final results of fat reduction appear after several months.

–       There may be some discomfort during treatment.

–       There may be some side effects including redness, bruising, swelling, and numbness- which may last for several weeks.

There’s a lot to consider with all of these treatments, but the upside is- that you have more options than ever before for fat reduction. So, consider your needs and your schedule, to see what treatment might work for you. (in addition, of course, to your healthy eating and exercise plan!)

Enjoy the upcoming Special Event and Bathing Suit Seasons!

[Please call us, if you’d like more information. Dr. Lepore is a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon in San Jose, serving patients in Los Gatos, Campbell, Saratoga, Cupertino, and the San Francisco Bay Area. Free Cosmetic Consultations can be scheduled by calling (408) 356-4241.]

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