Laser treatment tackles stubborn weight problems

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by SHELLY SLATER

Bio | Email | Follow: @wfaashelly

WFAA

Posted on June 23, 2014 at 10:12 PM

Updated Monday, Jun 23 at 11:23 PM

DALLAS — With a candle burning, it's a moment of Zen for Susan Berger.

You'd never know by the looks of this that she's losing inches off her body.

“I was skeptical; what could really be that easy?” she asked.

Berger trains hard, six days a week, to stay in shape. But her back, her arms, her hips, never seem to budge.

“I lost eight pounds and nothing changed," she said. “It's where I carry it.”

So she tried the Strawberry Laser Lipo treatment at Luxury on Lovers in Dallas. It’s meant to target those tough spots, using the intense light of a laser.

“This isn't so much about weight loss... it's inch loss,” said spa owner Lisa Cobb. She says the Strawberry Laser works, but it's not for everyone.

“This is not for someone who is extremely overweight and looking to lose things the easy way,” she said.

Instead, it targets individuals near their healthy weight who just can't lose the final 10 pounds, or someone wants to spot-treat.

The Strawberry Laser does have FDA approval, but the agency says you have to spot-treat the same area eight times for it to be truly efficient.

Only four treatments in, Susan Berger is multiple inches thinner — in all the right spots. She kept it a secret from her trainer (well, sort of).

“He said, 'All of a sudden there is this remarkable change where I can see a difference,'” Berger recalled.

Dr. Genevieve Wallace with Texas Health Dallas says this treatment is safe, but recommends caution.

“They are just using light, so there is no damage to the skin, or underlying tissue," Wallace said. "You punctures holes in the fat cells and the fluid comes out.”

But the laser is new on the market, there hasn't been time to test it's true lasting impact. And Dr. Wallace questions whether this technique leads to permanent weight loss.

“If you are looking for something quick and fast, without long-term solutions," she said. "Sometimes you can lose inches and water weight, but expect it to probably come back."

“It's too soon to tell, but if it's come off, there's no reason it should be blowing back up if you are maintaining a healthy lifestyle,” Lisa Cobb said.

“It's what I consider remarkable, for sitting there for 10 minutes per body area,” Berger noted.

Critics may ask whether something so simple can possibly work.

"Your cell phone used to be the size of a computer, and now it's this big," Cobb said, holding up her phone. "Technology improves."

It has improved enough to give Berger — about to turn 60 — the ability to keep getting better with age.

The Strawberry Laser Lipo treatment costs around $1,600 for the eight FDA-recommended sessions for one area of the body, like the abdomen or back.

E-mail sslater@wfaa.com

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