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IPL & Cosmetic Laser User Groups > Laser Dilemma

We got burned badly. We bought a used Cutera Xeo from a company that doesn't exist anymore. We are still paying the lease back to the bank and cant get out the contract -- even though the contract states we to have a three year warranty on the machine. We are currently having the machine evaluated by an outside contractor in hopes the insurance could possibly reimburse us. In the interim, we are renting a Cutera Coolglide, but are rendered unable to offer any services other than laser hair removal. Our loyal customer base is gradually becoming discontent and we are running out of time to find a solution. The Xeo has only a coolglide handpiece (broken) connected to it and an antiquated IPL 560. The machine is not registered with cutera and we are having trouble finding parts and would not know how to operate or install them if we were to. We almost signed up for a GentleMax under a five year lease but we are now very reticent about doing this as the cost is too great.

What laser(s) do you all think would be an ideal solution for us to treat psoriasis, acne, fine lines and wrinkles, melasma, scars/striae, vascular lesions, AND be an efficacious and relatively comfortable solution for laser hair removal of all skin types and colors on the Fitzpatrick scale. Our budget is $40,000 or (hopefully) less. I know this is a very tight budget -- and such we would obviously be looking at the used laser market most likely. If it is impossible to meet our treat goals with this budget, let me know about this as well.

One thing to impound is that we are not interested in any kind of IPL. Thanks!

10.21 | Unregistered CommenterN.O

N.O.

First of all, I can repair your Xeo. I can also sell it, if you need it sold. As far as the laser you are looking for within your budget- Iridex Gemini. I have one for $35,000 with a full service warranty for 12 months. All our units are Certified Pre-Owned and carry a 12 month warranty. Furthermore, if you need a replacement CV/Excel hand piece, I have one as well.

You posted this before. Not only does the laser you desire not exist, you also appear to be some sort of laser snob. Why wouldn't you be interested in an IPL? I think there are certified starlux's for $40k or so? How do you look again at the used market if you were so badly treated before (happens often in used aesthetic market).

My advice is to buy a demo or pre-owned from a manufacturer, increase your budget and buy new, or close down. If you don't have the budget to do this business the "right" way, save yourself the trouble.

10.21 | Unregistered CommenterGolfindoc

I agree with Mickey. The Iridex Gemini would be the best answer to your wishes. I have worked with Iridex in the past and you can most likely purchase a good used laser and have it certified with an extended service agreement for a very reasonable price. They are one of the most reasonable (i.e., not rip offs like many of the others) of the big laser companies I have dealt with and their lasers are very good.

I have owned over a hundred aesthetic lasers. I have purchased third party lasers as well as a lot of brand new ones. Buying used really is a crap shoot unless you know who originally purchased the laser and how well it was taken care of.

10.22 | Unregistered CommenterMD

Does it really take offending somebody to make a simple point???

I too am a laser snob. IPL is not equal to light amplification through stimulated emission of radiation- it is an imitation of the physical properties. You can't possibly make a rational argument to the contrary. And his budget is fine for a good used laser.

I know its a good budget for a used laser, my point is, why would you buy used again if you were so badly burned the first time around? Buying used is a strategy reserved for experienced owners of lasers who know 3rd party/ independent repair guys, know all the fees, more or less know the drill.

Did you look at the post, there is no aesthetic device around that will treat all of those indications. I think IPL would be the closest. Try doing hair removal on legs with a Gemeni befor you suggest it as a good buy....

10.24 | Unregistered CommenterGolfindoc

First of all, the Gemini has a 10mm hand piece which is 5-8mm smaller than the largest laser hand pieces available. The Gemini is actually a great choice for hair removal, and I know various medispas that will confirm that claim.

As far as there not being an aesthetic device that will perform all those procedures, you are wrong. The Gemini is used to treat most, if not all of those conditions. It is probably the best choice because of it's affordability, and what it cannot do can be supported by cheaper lasers from Iridex like the Venus and the Lyra. A fully loaded Xeo would also do most of not all these procedures. A fully loaded Sciton Profile will as well. The only IPL that will treat all these conditions is the laser/ipl combo Starlux 500 with various $15K+ hand pieces. This is not an economic alternative. A fully loaded Starlux 500 USED costs over $70,000, when you can get all three aesthetic Iridex lasers on the used market for that price, and with warranties.

It is not difficult to find third party servicers.

Have you noticed all the "laser schools/laser institutes"? MedSpa's spend a great deal of money on laser equipment, service and repair and then purchasing the next generation. Many of these "schools" receive the equipment free, do not pay for repairs, have reps. teaching the classes for free. The students are charged high tuition. In some instances $10,000 per week. Since they have no investment in equipment, their treatment fees are as low as $0. It makes it virtually impossible to compete. I am disturbed when the reps enter my office and try to sell me the "newest thing" and gives it away free to my competitor. I would love to have the nearly $ million I have spent on equipment over the past 10 years. Comments and suggestions please.

If you bought a used laser from a third party vendor who no longer exists, then you are going to have these types of issues. The warranty was probably granted by the selling company who offered service, but once the company goes under the warranty is usually gone with it.

You will be very hard pressed to find a $40k laser that will treat all of those conditions since you will need a myriad of wavelengths to properly treat them. Buying directly from the manufacturer will alleviate these pains. It will cost more upfront, but as you can now tell is worth it to ensure the long term success of your laser busines.

If you are buying from a fly-by-night in ANY industry, you will have that problem. If you buy from established individuals with a track record- you will get what you pay for. Purchasing direct from the manufacturer is more of a waste of money than buying used. Take, for instance, the value of your laser. Buy new today at $150,000; in one, two, or three years, you will tire of paying for service from the OEM which is ridiculously expensive. You will either try to find a third party, or you end up selling your laser. It will then be worth $20K-$70K. That means it has lost at least 50% of it's original value in just a couple of years. If you buy used at, say, $40K, two to three years from now your laser will still be in that price range.

The key is to secure support before purchasing equipment. Those of you who like to spend money on the OEM's will always argue that is the best option. Sure, it's the best option if you don't mind spending the money. OEM service is never as extensive as third party. The difference is the parts are readily available... they're also about 50% more in cost. When you know someone or a company with access to the parts, using the OEM just seems ridiculous.

It goes without saying that pre owned lasers will crap out on you soon enough too. If you are going to buy a third party pre owned laser, get one where the parts are easier to get and is not too hard to fix. There are certain companies where gettting parts are REALLY difficult. Cutera is one of them. I have a Cutera so I understand. Next time you might want to consider a Candela. They have a decent product and the parts are easily accessible for repair technicians. Hope this helps...

11.19 | Unregistered CommenterCC

Hello CC,

There isn't a part from Cutera I have had difficulty acquiring.

I beg to disagree Mickey. CC, you're right about Cutera and parts. They are one of the worst and most expensive. I might be able to dig up my contact for servicing Cutera's. What do you want at this point though ? To fix the Cutera if you can or get something else ? (or both ?)

11.25 | Unregistered CommenterB Laser

How can you disagree with what I can or can't acquire as far as parts for Cutera lasers? That doesn't even make sense. You can pretend I can't, but disagreeing doesn't change the fact. It's like disagreeing that the sun is warm.

Let's go through your want list: "ideal solution for us to treat psoriasis, acne, fine lines and wrinkles, melasma, scars/striae, vascular lesions, AND be an efficacious and relatively comfortable solution for laser hair removal of all skin types and colors on the Fitzpatrick scale."
Starting from the last, the hair removal laser for all skin types would be a 1064 variable pulse ND-YAG. And that will not treat psoriasis, acne, photoageing, or melasma. It will treat striae a bit, and some vascular lesions, but not very well. For acne, you need 1320 nm or 1450 nm or both such as Cynosure affirm multiplex or an old smoothbeam. The Affirm also treats some scars and does some tightening, but does not treat psoriasis, or vascular lesions or hair. For vascular lesions the classic is 595 nm pulsed dye which will also treat some scars. For melasma, the qswitched 1064 is ok, but not great, for psoriasis you need an excimer. I think your question suggests an underlying unfamiliarity with medical lasers. You may be so enamored of the technology that you believe the machines and operators are capable of dong things they just cannot do. For the range of skin problems you list, the minimum list would be an excimer laser, a 1450 nm laser, a qswitched laser, a pulsed dye laser, and a long pulsed yag laser. That's 5 lasers, which used would cost about $100,000 or more, and there will guaranteed be problems with them in heating your rooms up, training your staff in their safe usage, getting the required approvals from regulatory agencies, paying for service contracts, and machine breakdowns. You will have additional costs to provide safe power for the lasers such as 220 volt 40 amp and 220 volt 20 amp special plugs. Plus additional air conditioning for the room. What you want cannot be done on a low budget, and I foresee that your proposal will fail unless you have significant access to capital. Have you thought about another line of business which doesn't cost so much to start up?

Mickey, you can get parts, ok. Can you get software?

I have every version of Cutera service software ever released. If you are referring to the actual software on the units, as in performing software upgrades, that is not essential to service. Furthermore, I do have a method, but I don't use it too often because as I said- it is not essential to service. Also, upgrading a unit from one software version to another without the manufacturer's consent may constitute assembly of a medical device, and would change my status from servicing dealer to manufacturer, and I would be violating Cutera's proprietary rights. As a servicing dealer, I have access to all parts and software required for repair and periodic maintenance.

Can you service and sell parts to owners of used systems that have not been certified by Cutera? How is your warranty priced compared to Cutera's? Thx.

I have a difficult time feeling badly for you because..... IF YOU KNEW SOMETHING ABOUT LASERS BY TAKING INSTRUCTION FROM A SCHOOL THAT DOES NOT EVEN EXIST IN THE USA YOU MIGHT KNOW MORE ABOUT THE DEVICE. What is happening to you is exactly what you are doing to your clients. You cannot make a quick buck with technical equipment unless you know what you are doing. You OBVIOUSLY DO NOT. you are under financed and this is why many businesses go belly up.

You should not be TREATING ANYBODY as you do not know what you are faced with. If you use the wrong laser to do a particular job it will fail and your customers will let others know. The public thinks lasers will slice bread too because that is what they were told by someone who also does not know what they are talking about. Would you go to you for treatment?

12.3 | Unregistered Commenterlefty2g

Hello Goldfindoc,

I cannot advertise on the forums, so if you would like those specifics, please contact me off line, or visit my company website. The bulk of our business is servicing Cutera lasers, and our warranty with certification ends up being about half what Cutera charges.

whats your opinoin on the Sandstone Apex? It has an IPL and ER Yag. Although it may not be so great for hair, how does it perform on veins, scars, acne, dyschromia, and rejuvenation? The price of new one would fit the budget.

03.24 | Registered CommenterhealMD

I don't know enough about Sandstone to comment specifically on their lasers, but I would say Er:Yag is not the best for veins, scars, acne, dyschromia, and rejuvenation, and I would never recommend an IPL over a laser. I can help you more thoroughly if you contact me by email.

Mickey where are you located? Can you leave your contact info? My email is anh06g@yahoo.com

04.29 | Unregistered CommenterAH

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