First, I've never had any real interaction with Medsurge Advances. However, I know a number of physicians who have.
Medsurge Advances have made a number of comments on this site which I applaud. It can't be easy defending your business form what are mostly anonymous sources and as I've always said, you should take all opinions with a grain of salt. Certainly there have been a number of cases on this site where commenters have posted under false names and obvioulsy been pushing a certain agend for their medical spa program, consultants, or technology.
That being said, I hazzard to guess that this poster has had some insight into what's happened at Medsurge Advances:
Here is a summary which should confirm many other posts and may dispute some others. It is definitely not biased towards MedSurge, but it definitely is all an inside look.
At one time, they had over 100 employees. Now, they have less than 40. They have gone through 3 or 4 layoffs.
They have customer service which historically didn't have the tools, parts or experience to fix all of their offered equipment properly.
They have struggled financially for almost two years and many employees have left due to the financial instability. Many customers have inquired about the stability of the company with specific concern as to who will fix their equipment if MedSurge goes out of business.
Consulting was created as a way to sell more lasers and this sometimes conflicted with helping the customer or giving him good advice. Sometimes this meant the sales rep had final say on the business plan (not the paid consultants) which left customers with over-inflated revenues to make them comfortable purchasing absurd amounts of equipment. Don't get me wrong, many of these consultants have helped a great number of medspas, but there is only so much you can do after you have purchased way too much equipment. This didn't occur with every customer. The sales reps were also guilty of convincing the doctors to think that grand openings would net them huge sums of money (which was not always the case) and sometimes would promise more than MedSurge would offer in the way of consulting. There were doctors that netted $70k plus on grand openings, but it was definitely not normal. The consultants had to take the blame for sales reps over-inflated pitches (even if they did their job well).
The equipment is mostly antiquated (with one new exception and more new pieces on the way). The MedioStar was a decent machine with bad software. The software took over a year to fix and most still don't have the upgrade applied in the field. Please note that this mostly resulted in low power (not burns). The Aramis never really worked. Many of these wouldn't last two weeks out of the box. The D-Actor was sold with little proof that it had any effect on cellulite. They never had a white paper performed before they started selling it.
They did have a spa in Plano, Tx. It was shut down due to lack of profitability. It was not a medspa, but a sort of hybrid fitness center medical spa.
It would be interesting to see if there is any recourse to MedSurge concerning the failing doctors. I think there is a decent amount of recourse for equipment that fails if each doctor approaches it correctly. For most doctors, it seems that they run out of money before they can go after MedSurge. It is hard to come up with money for a law suit after you burned $10 to $20k per month in cash on a failing practice that didn't last 18 months. Most doctors (as mentioned on this blog) just purchased too much equipment. In the end, however, it is my opinion that most doctors did not do their homework before they leaped into a medspa. The doctor is the one signing papers showing that he owes $500k in leases. There may be blame on both sides. I guess time will tell if anyone launches a law suit against MedSurge concerning the sale of a "bad business model".
Things at MedSurge are much different now than they were a year ago. For one, they don't sell the consulting services like they used to. They are more focused on this laser lipolysis machine and some other new equipment that is coming out. This means they are more like an equipment distributor than the hybrid distribution/consulting strategy they used before. The change had to take place (in my own opinion) because the medpsa market was completely oversaturated and there was just not much room for any more profitable spas until 20-30% of them went out of business. Hopefully their new equipment will work great and nobody else will get hurt financially with the medspa fiasco.
Do your homework and get at least 3 references on these new pieces of machinery. If they come out with a new piece of equipment that works and customers like it...you can probably get a good deal compared to competition. I hear they have some very interesting equipment coming out soon. Also, don't buy anything unless it has been properly researched. They have a few vendors that build equipment without thoroughly testing for its clinical efficacy. Sometimes this creates a machine that performs great in a lab, but very poorly in the field (references references references). Beware of their customer service. They do try to have customer service, they just sometimes don't have the resources. They have a lot of people that care about doctors...few of them happen to be sales reps or the top management (i.e. some people that post regularly on this site in favor of MedSurge), however. As with any business agreement...don't believe any verbal promises from their reps; get all agreements in writing (signed by someone outside of their sales department) and you should be fine.
Questions should always be asked about their financial stability. They have started selling a lot of new machines and have lowered their headcount dramatically. Hopefully they are now stable and can support their customers. Don't assume...ask them!
Many people were hurt in this industry in the last two years, not just MedSurge customers. In some markets, there were medspas across the street from other medspas. It didn't help that many of their customers took on a lot of debt, but until 2007, I don't think anybody realized the direction the industry was headed. You can still make money on aesthetic medicine. You can still make money in medspas. It is just much harder than it used to be. I believe MedSurge (for whatever reason) has seems to have adjusted to this new market by moving to a distribution method and moving away from helping customers open brand new spas
DO YOUR HOMEWORK! DO YOUR OWN SMELL CHECK TO SEE IF EACH PIECE OF EQUIPMENT WILL MAKE YOU MONEY AND COVER ITS COST AND DEBT! CONTACT AS MANY REFERENCES AS YOU CAN! MAKE SMART BUSINESS DECISIONS! EXPLORE ALL YOUR OPTIONS...EVEN MEDSURGE (IF IT WORKS FOR YOU.