Most laser reps/brokers know very little about the equipment they are selling, aside from the one-day crash course of single-sided “facts” about their equipment that they could simply get from a datasheet. What is really bothersome is that so many doctors will believe what the reps/brokers say but not do the diligence and research it. Going off of marketing brochures really does not iterate the actual equipment or the workings of the equipment.
Get a technical explanation, if they can do it, of how the laser works. If they can’t, then you should really question their ability to know what the laser can do and why. Cost alone should not and should never be a deciding factor in buying a laser. Quality, longevity, repairs / replacements, efficacy and the light delivery methods are far more important than the cost. All too often I see doctors take the cheaper route and end up getting less of a laser that ultimately costs more in the long run, also costing them patients referrals, trust and more replacement parts to keep the laser operating it (thus keeping them in the pocket of the laser maker).
Anyone looking to buy a laser needs to pick up the phone, call around and get technical info on everything you want to consider. I recommend the following company that does an EXCELLENT job in providing laser technical information: Medical Insight. This company has some aesthetic laser charts that provide across the board comparisons of every laser that’s out there for every type of aesthetic modality.
Take your time, be patient, stay in control of your decisions and simply tell the broker exactly what you want. Don’t let them guide you into anything else, just make them give you the stats, the facts and their technical support case of why. If they cannot give you these answers on the spot or in a timely manner, say goodbye and move on to a broker and a company who will support you in this expensive and long-term decision.
There are some excellent resources for finding out which lasers are the favorites among physicians. One such resource can be found online at: www.MedicalSpaMD.com. This is a blog of aesthetic physicians who discuss very openly their experiences with all of the various manufacturers and equipment that is on the market today. Once you begin reading this information, it will become very clear which manufacturers and which equipment you should stay away from and which equipment is a favorite among the physicians in the group.
I also highly recommend that you sign up for the free webinars that are offered by almost all of the laser manufacturers. These are free, you don’t have to travel, and it allows you to get a solid idea of the benefits of the laser technology available. Attending trade shows can also be another great way to learn of the technologies that are in favor with the industry. Two shows that I recommend you attend are the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery and The Aesthetic Show sponsored by Medical Insight.
Test-driving a used car helps you decide if it is the right car for you and also if this particular car is in good condition. It may not hurt to rent a laser from the manufacturer before you decide to buy so that you can give it a good “test drive.” Find out if this option is available to you. They may be able to provide you with a demo unit they can rent out to you. This will allow you to find out if the laser is a good fit for your practice.
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