The New Medical Spa MD Guide To Aesthetic Laser Platforms Is Out!

The Comparative Guide to Aesthetic Laser Platforms is now available for free to all Medical Spa MD Members.

Choosing which aesthetic platform you're going to build your clinic or medical spa around is one of the most important, and expensive, decisions that you're going to make. Switching costs are high and if you make a mistake, you're going to be regretting it for a long, long time.

Included Laser Platforms:

  • Alma Harmony
  • Palomar Icon
  • Syneron elos Plus
  • Cutera Xeo
  • Sciton Joule
  • Syneron Emax

This first edition guide offers a starting point for physicians and clinics who are just beginning to research the purchase of a platform, or as a resource for dotors who are in the market but want to know what else might be available. We've done much of the preliminary leg work for you by taking six popular platfroms from Palomar, Sciton, Alma, Cutera and Syneron and comparing them across a number of treatment modalities.

We've also included links throughout the guide to the discussion forums on each platform for deeper investigation that allows you to ask questions directly from other physicians who own that specific laser, as well as discuss other important purchasing decisions around consumables (which can be a significant cost) and support (which can be critical).

Note: While there are dozens of laser and IPL systems that might have been included, we started with thise six since they're all "multi-purpose" platforms with wide utility, widely available around the world, and are generally well known. If you represent a cosmetic laser company and would like to be included in future reports, please contact us.

Do you have a suggestion to improve our services or an idea for as research project you think we should be doing? Would you like to be interviewed, or sponsor a report? Please contact us.

Our contributing physician list is growing fast. Thank you to the physicians and clinics who have contributed to this report.

Also: Please feel free to distribute, email, link to, tweet, post or send this report to anyone who may be interested as long as you do not modify or change the report in any way.

Purchasing Used Cosmetic Lasers

used cosmetic laser

Looking for a used cosmetic laser or IPL?

By Mickey A. Couvertier, CBET, CLRT

Starting or expanding a private medical or cosmetic practice can be a complicated experience. Location is of the utmost importance, followed by branding, and marketing. Staffing, clinical needs, pricing, advertising- all of these things can be an added headache to the whole process… not to mention acquiring quality equipment, and the follow up service.

While all the other parameters mentioned can be worked, and reworked, the one aspect that can make or break your entire practice is purchasing and servicing used medical lasers. There are hundreds of wholesalers, distributors, and other second source vendors offering as wide a variety of aftermarket options as there are options for new equipment, and even more. OEM’s are also in the market, and while basic supply and demand dictates that so many options should be a benefit to the consumer, the process of choosing which devices to purchase is amongst the most discussed, asked about, debated, and argued about amongst clinicians, salesmen, and repair companies alike. I have written this short guide with the hopes of assisting anyone in the market for a used medical laser in making the right decision.

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Sciton Loves The Medical Spa MD Physician Report

It appears that Sciton is happy where they ranked in the first Medical Spa MD Physician Report

Download the Medical Spa MD Physicians Report #1 here.

I received a copy of a press release that Sciton sent out a few days ago that details their placement in the report. Here's the release:

Physicians Rank Scition #1 In Cosmetic Lasers

PALO ALTO, Calif., November 18, 2011 – Sciton, Inc. was ranked First in Class among aesthetic laser manufacturers in a survey of Medical Spa MD’s 5000-member physician community of plastic surgeons, cosmetic dermatologists, medical spas, and laser clinics.

In its first “Physician Report” (, Medical Spa MD asked physicians which technology they would recommend and respondents overwhelmingly selected Sciton, ranking it highest among the 16 manufacturers represented in the report. Physicians also identified five Sciton systems as their top choice for aesthetic medical applications in their clinics, including the JOULE, SkinTyte, ProFractional-XC, BBL, and Profile, in a demonstration of “remarkable brand loyalty,” and awareness. The Sciton systems identified are used for skin resurfacing, skin firming and tightening, laser hair removal, treatment of vascular and other skin conditions, body shaping, among other procedures.

Sciton is the leading manufacturer of high quality, modular, multi-application medical laser and light systems for the aesthetic market that can be tailored to a practice’s specific requirements. Additional confirmation of the quality, reliability and robustness of these laser- and light-based devices lies in the fact that over 95% of all the lasers ever manufactured by Sciton during its 14 year history are still in use. Dan Negus, President of Sciton, commented, “While we take great pride and care to design and manufacture outstanding and long lasting laser devices, it is extremely gratifying to see this recognition of our products’ quality and value by the clinicians in the Med Spa MD survey. We are elated that such a prestigious group of physicians has validated Sciton’s longstanding commitment to the quality and utility of its products.”

Medical Spa MD operates a premier online resource for providers of cosmetic medicine. This is the first year the organization has published its Physician Report, highlighting Sciton as the most utilized and recommended laser device manufacturer.

The survey also showed that treatments and applications made possible by the company’s technology are among the most profitable that cosmetic physicians offer, a circumstance promoted by Sciton’s commitment to well-built, high-quality products that pay for themselves over time without requiring an ongoing investment in consumables.

Now, the press release is carefully worded but I can't fault Sciton for putting their best face on with this. For example, the last paragraph says that, "treatments and applications made possible by the company’s technology are among the most profitable that cosmetic physicians offer", but those are the same treatments that are made possible by other techonology companies. Still, it reads well and is factual.

We're working on the next report now and I hope to have it out shortly.

I have no idea where anyone will rank in the new report since the questions are all different.

Refuting Negative Online Reviews

Protecting your medical spa, personal, and professional reputation online can be damn near impossible.

With internet marketing opportunities on the rise, today's aesthetic clinicians are faced with a "double edge sword". One side, if you don't advertise yourself on the internet you have less of a chance to gain presence and new business over your competitors. The other side of the blade is that you are opening yourself and your practice up to negative comments and reviews.

While patients do have a right to exercise The First Amendment, what we really find in our industry is that positive reviews don't come freely. Seldom does a "customer" of a business post how wonderful a place is or what a great experience they had. Typically, rave reviews are solicited by the business encouraging their customers to post reviews if they are "happy". Whereas, someone who is disgruntled in some sort of way has no apprehension whatsoever in posting their views on the internet.

With many sites not requiring the identity of the poster to be verified, this opens up the "Wild West", so-to-speak, for anyone to post anything he or she desires. This also includes your competitors who can acquire an email address with any vendor, then post anonymous false reviews of you and your practice.

How can you combat this? First, you have to be diligent in canvassing your reputation on the web. You have a choice to let the comments go, or research them to see if you can determine who they are so you can have the opportunity to correct the review (if it is a legitimate complaint). You can also report the review to the posting internet site with a clear description of why you believe the post should be removed. However, there is no guarantee you will even receive a response.

Many social media marketing gurus state that all positive reviews on a business tends to make the consumer think something is a little fishy with the business, so one bad review can add to the business's authenticity. Take book reviews on Amazon for example. I know I read through them all, good and bad, then make my decision. After reading a few, you get a general idea of what reviews are just "out there" (i.e., insults, poor language, obscenities, etc.) and which ones are more reliable and genuine.

David Goldberg, M.D., J.D. has written an excellent article for Dermatology Times entitled "Physicians have limited recourse against online defamation". This is a must read article for any clinician!

From the post:

There are known instances of dentists being accused online by their competitors of being child molesters. Similarly, laudatory online comments can be written by the physician himself.

One way to try to work around such frivolous online statements is to have patients sign a waiver that has them promise, in case they are not happy with their care, that they will not post online comments to that effect. The way such contracts are enforceable is as follows.

In general, websites acting as platforms for outside commentary are not liable for defamation suits. They are, according to North Carolina neurosurgeon/attorney Jeffrey Segal, M.D., J.D., subject to copyright laws. Waivers can be written to assign copyright to the treating physician. If the treating physician asks the patient to sign such a "copyright" waiver, the physician can claim ownership of any anonymous review of the practice and demand that such an online review then be removed. There are now examples of website posts removing such deleterious copyrighted comments.

Needless to say, not all patients will agree to sign such a waiver. Some may feel such waivers are simply "gag orders." The reality is that disgruntled patients are free to speak with family, friends, other physicians, lawyers, hospital peer review committees or credentialing committees. There are many appropriate places where patients can express their views.

This guest post is written by Paula D. Young RN, author of Advanced IPL & Laser Training For Non-Physicians and co-owner of Young Medical Spa in Center Valley PA.

Submit a guest post and be heard.

Medicams Reputation: Cosmetic Lasers & IPLs

Medicam is an IPL & cosmetic laser company in Canada that I don't have any first-hand knowlege of since I've never had any experience with them... but someone doesn't like them.

We've always allowed anyone to post their own opinion, but some individuals with a grudge will attempt to abuse that by posting negative (or positive) reviews and comments under different names. 
Here's a number of comments about Medicam and their cosmetic lasers and IPLs:

Dear friend! Whatever you do - do not buy a Medicam Inc. IPL or have any business with this people! You might as well just put money straight to the garbage. Be very aware of [name removed], sales representative. He will lie and cheat, and took advantage of you and your money. He will sell you the machine in Canada - even though it is not FDA approved, and it is illegal to sell it in Canada. He will sell you hand peaces that are dangerous for health. Medicam claims their parts are from Canada. ALL MEDICAM PARTS ARE FROM CHINA. I know to separate independant people who know industry very well, and they are well informed. This people will go some day to jail, because the way they run business in Canada is illegal. I live in Mexico, but I have friends who live in Ontarion, and I hear nothing but the nightmare stories, about this company. If you still want to go ahead, and have business with them, May God help you, my friend.

Dealing with Medicam Inc, Montreal based company offers the worst customer service. They talk and promise a lot, but do not deliver. What a waste of money. There are so many great US and Canadian companies, and on average the great IPL machine cost 35 000$. Their machine cost around 40 000$, but they lie by telling you that machine cost close to $60 000, and than they pretend they offer the deal. Somebody wrote above that machines are made in China. Everybody knows that. All the parts are form China, they just put parts together in Canada.

Medicam is a lie! It is a bullshit company! They talk big, but do not believe anything they say. I wanted to see their factory, but they always had excuse.. they never wanted to show me. Why? Because they do not have factory in CAnada!
They do not have licence to sell their machines.
If you are in trouble, they will not take care of you.
All the people that have trouble with Medicam should do something together to shut them down, before they still more money from people.
- Joana

It is poor quality IPL. It will break down, and it is not possible to fix it
- xx

The trouble is, the Medicam rep is right. All of the comments above were posted by the same individual. They're all from the same IP address (, using the same computer in Vancouver British Columbia.

While I make it a point to try and never stifledissent or real opinion, it's obvious that the comments above are neither. It's greatly irritating when someone uses Medical Spa MD to comment under different names in order to damage an individuals reputation and this makes me pretty damn mad.

While I don't have any real opinion about Medicam one way or the other since I've never owned one of their IPLs or lasers, the fact that the comments above were obviously made with the explicit desire to mislead rather than just post a legitimate gripe anonymously means that the individual wasn't really trying to share any knowledge. For that reason I've modified them.

Oh, and there's this from the Medicam rep named above that was posted as a response and I found quite persuasive.

To everyone concerned,

I was asked to visit this site this morning and must say that I am extremely surprised to find what is mentioned in certain posts.

First of all, MEDICAM is an ACTUAL manufacturer. ANYBODY who wishes to visit our offices and factory are more than welcome and it'll be my personal pleasure to give the tour myself.

Secondly, all posts shown on 09/26 are by the same person. Jake, you do not fool me with the JJ, Joana (your manager) or 'xx'. I frankly find it ridiculous that you would attack me personally. Believe me when I say I sleep on both ears at night, knowing everything than I have done for you. These attacks just show how unappreciative and unreasonable you actually are. One last thing in regards to this, mention or attack me personally one more time and you will be hearing from my lawyer. Your childish games end here. I could simply state point by point how wrong you are and allow everyone to come to their own conclusions, but exposing your dirty laundry isn't something I will do. The only thing you accuse us of that is actually true: the art exposed in our office isn't related to lasers! I hadn't received the memo from the National Art Institute stating that art shown in an office has to represent what is sold within. Completely ridiculous!

Lastly, and more importantly, I appreciate these blogs as they provide potential clients with an unbiased point of view. This being said, certain clients will never be satisfied and we know of certain competitors who lie since they have nothing else to counter our prices and services. All information must be analyzed with this in mind. We have absolutely nothing to hide. The Chinese manufactured, unsafe, no service, certification approvals and other ridiculous comments are all LIES.

Once more, I invite anyone wishing to get clarification to call our offices: 514-737-0404. I'll me more than happy to take the call myself.

Best regards,

[Name Omitted]
Sales Director

Now Medicam could have been stupid, but they weren't. The individual singled out just posted a comment underneath the others. I'd point out that this is the kind of response that actually protects your reputation and makes you seem reasonable.

It's also a good reminder to take everything you read with a grain of salt.

I'm going to leave the comments up for a short time and then remove them. There are others who want some real cosmetic laser reviews and opinions without the drama.

I just wonder who Jake is.

Cosmetic Lasers, User Groups & Clinical Exchange Forums

Medical Spa MDs forums are getting some TCL.

With tens of thousands of comments, the navigation menu had pretty much outgrown the the previous navigation and was bursting at the seams. The only way to really drill down and find information was to search, and that's somewhat clumsy since you have to know what you're looking for.

We spend the last couple of days and nights attempting to create a better system that allowed physicians to brows by topic as well as have access to holistic search functions. It's still in need of a little tweaking but we're letting you see it now.

Medical Spa MDs new forums are divided into four broad categories:

These changes to the forums combined with the new area for Medical Spa MD Select Parterns should allow you to navigate the site and find information that's relevant to your needs more easily... at least I hope so.

We'll try to manage the places that posts are found and move them to the appropriate location when we can. Of course there's a huge amount of overlap. I've included pretty much any fat removal treatment under the Bodyscupting & Liposuction forum for example. While it's not perfect, I think it's much better to have only a few forums that you can peruse.

If you haven't used the forums before, please do. We have a very active physician community who are very helpful. Many of the best threads on the site were started with physicians asking very specific questions around treatments, techniques, and other 'down in the trenches' queries.

If you would like to have a forum added or think we've missed something please let us know. If there's enough content or interest we'll add it.

Also, if you're a physician who has some great information or something to say on any topic, please submit it as a guest post and help everyone out.