Cutera Reviews: Buying Used Lasers & IPLs

Cutera Laser Reviews

Cutera is a major player in the cosmetic space with a number of platforms and systems:Cutera Coolglide, Cutera XEO, Solera Opus, the LimeLight IPL, ProWave Nd:YAG and Solera Titan. So what's Cutera's reputation with physians?

If you read the discussion threads on Cutera there are some positive opinions about the technology but there's a a lot of negative reactions to the company policies around sales and support practices. Much of it mimics these opinions in the comments on this Cutera discussion thread from way back in 2007: Is any Cutera technology work buying?

Many of the comments or reviews fall in to a couple of buckets that are recognizable and are often repeated; problems with the effacacy, pricing and costs too high, buyer felt lied to or misled by the sales rep (oversold and under-delivered), and the companies desire to lock in the buyer and extract every possible dollar. (We're working on series of posts and a guide to address all of these areas.)

Cutera's not the only laser manufacturer facing some negativity of course. All of the cosmetic laser companies have some issues that they deal with all of the time. In some cases it's unrealistic expectations from buyers but there's a lot of sales reps that aren't doing these companies any favors in overselling and promising revenue outcomes that are much more dependent on the buyers business sense and marketing that the IPL or laser they're buying.

Don't Buy New comments:

I'm new to this site and so happy to see that I'm not alone. Recently wooed into purchasing the Cutera Excel V (at a conference) BIG mistake. Free drinks, good salespeople, and me-new to industry, naive and inexperienced with lasers and zero business savvy. I was told by the speaker at the event, who was also a friend of a friend who I thought had my best interest in mind, that I was getting "the best deal the salespeople are allowed to give" for the demo unit at that conference. Paid $125,000, it broke on day of training and then 2 more times over next few months, and I did not see the results I expected. Long story short...after 6 months of minimal use, I am trying to get rid of the laser, have been offered $30,000 by 2 different laser re-sale companies! Called financing company Cutera had me sign with-Heartland (no options given and no discussion of terms) who informed me that my payoff is actually $170,000 with no ability to pay less early! Can't resell on my own because warranty doesn't transfer unless I pay Cutera another $30,000 to transfer ownership.

and from LH

... The only Cutera piece I still use is the 1064. I will never buy new from Cutera again. I may buy a used 1064 for 20 cents on the dollar or less. The secondary market is very crowded with Cutera products which continues to devalue them.

but one anonymous poster (sarah) said this:

As a Cutera owner I am shocked to stumble across this site. I have been working with this system 2 years. I have very satisfied patients, many of them are thrilled with the how much better the 1064 works for hairs than other treatments they have had elsewhere.  There the no equal to the 1064 for safely treating facial veins.
Also, anyone who is not getting great results with the Titan is just not doing right. I have people coming over from Thermage all the time. Just prepare your patients, doing this treatment to get great results comes with a lot of discomfort. 
Anyone complaining about a warranty... should have bought it at the beginning. My sales rep is amazing, we can always count on him to support our events and set up extra training whenever we feel under prepared.

In short, We love our Cutera system! It just took learning how to use it correctly.

My impression in reading Sarah's comment is that she is not the owner of the clinic or buyer of the system. (Just a hunch.) Most buyers are always talking about the business costs vs return rather than the personality of the sales rep.  : |

Notes: We allow anonymous comments on this site for obvious reasons but you might want to judge the voracity of those comments vs commenters who are identifying themselves (which you do when you login and comment.) All comments are individual opinions and don't necessarily reflect the views or opinions of others on the site. Make your own decisions.

Anyone have thoughts on the current state of Cutera's technology or sales practices?

Interview: Dr. Mark Mofid, A Plastic Surgeon In San Diego, California

San Diego Board Certified Plastic Surgeon Dr. Mark MofidDr. Mark Mofid's plastic surgery practice includes the La Jolla, Del Mar, and Chula Vista areas of San Diego.

Name: Mark Mofid, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Location: La Jolla, CA

Dr. Mark Mofid is a board-certified San Diego and La Jolla area plastic surgeon, certified by both the American Board of Plastic Surgery and the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

Can you tell us how your clinic's set up?

Our office is centrally located in La Jolla/UTC within San Diego County. We have a full time dermatologist (my wife) and plastic surgeon (me) and a nurse. We have a AAAASF/Medicare accredited surgery center attached to the clinic and also provide laser services. The practice has several thousand patient visits per year and we offer medical and cosmetic dermatologic services as well as cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery.

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Dr. Tahl N. Humes: Vitahl Medical Aesthetics In Denver

With two physicians, 30 years of combined aesthetics experience, and inclusion in the top 1% of Botox injectors in the US, Dr. Tahl Humes is rocking it at Vitahl Medical Aesthetics in Denver.

Dr. Tahl N. Humes Vitahl medical Aesthetics Medical Director Denver, Colorado

Name: Tahl N. Humes, MD
Clinic: Vitahl Medical Aesthetics
Location: Denver, CO

That's interesting: Dr. Tahl Humes is a Laser Trainer and Spokesperson for Cutera Lasers. She is in the top 1% of Botox injectors and the top 5% of Juvederm injectors in the country. 

In addition to serving as Medical Director for VITAHL Medical Aesthetics, Dr. Humes practices Internal Medicine at Saint Joseph Hospital in downtown Denver. 

You're an Internal Medicine Attending at a hospital in Denver. How (and why) did you end up making a move into cosmetic medicine?

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Dr. Beatriz Porras, Skin Diagnostics Laser & Rejuvenation

Dr. Beatriz Porras Cincinnati Board Certified Dermatologist

Beatriz H. Porras MD, Skin Diagnostics Laser & Rejuvenation

Physician: Dr. Beatriz H. Porras
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
That's interesting: Dr. Porras is the owner of a patent for a wound healing compound to treat chronic ulcers.

We got togetether with Dr. Beatriz Porras, physician owner of Skin Diagnostics Laser & Rejuvenation in Cincinnati, Ohio as part of our new series of interviews with doctors who are running successful medical spas and laser centers. You can find more in the Medical Spa MD Physician Report.

Can you tell us a little bit about you and how you got started in cosmetic medicine?

I am a Dermatopathologist with extensive training and experience in skin diseases, cosmetic dermatology and laser medicine. I practice cosmetic and general dermatology in Cincinnati OH. 

I got interested in cosmetic medicine many years ago because of all the wonderful results that can be achieved with Lasers, fillers and Toxins.  Also because I can help people improve their self esteem.

Question:  Can you tell us more about your clinic?

My clinic is Skin Diagnostic Laser & Rejuvenation in Cincinnati OH.  We have a condo office in a beautiful neighborhood called Montgomery. My office is very relaxing, we have painted mural of Tuscany and a water fountain in the waiting room. We offer cosmetic and general dermatology. We offer ablative and non ablative laser, Botox, fillers, treatments for acne, scars, wrinkles, sun damage, cellulite, hyperpigmentation etc. My patient population is 55% women 45% men.  I see Whites, African Americans, Hispanics and Asians.

Can you give us some insight into how you hire, motiviate, and manage your staff?

Hiring and firing personal is one of the most challenging parts of running a cosmetic practice.  Before, I had my office manager do that and it was a disaster. Now I do the hiring. I hire people that are personable, friendly and happy. I pay basic salary because I travel a lot and my personal need to get paid consistently. I also give bonuses according to performance, free treatments and products. I tend to hire people that other people have recommended. Before, I used agencies but that was a disaster. I found it is a very bad idea to use people from agencies.

What IPL or laser technologies are you using? 

I use an IPL by Cutera, I love it. I have the entire Cutera Plataform that is non ablative. It is a great laser. I also have a Sciton Erbium laser that is more ablative, it is also excellent. I think the key is choosing the right treatment for the right patient.

Beatriz Porras MD Ohio Board Certified Dermatologist

How do you market your clinic?

For external advertisement we do TV and Billboards. I also write for 2 magazines. I don’t believe in radio since what I do is visual. I try to be in every event possible so people get to see me.  I also give contributions to several charities and try to be present for their events. I also have my website. We have a big open house every year, we invite many people and we are very successful with this event. 

For internal marketing to existing patients, we send postcards and call patients. We also give referral rewards.

What treatments or services are most profitable for you?

Lasers are the most profitable... once you have paid off the lasers. Botox and fillers don’t have nearly as good margins. I have my own skin care line and that is very profitable. People love my products.

I would like to start doing cool sculpting. (If anyone has any thoughs on cool sculpting please leve them in the comments.)

What have you learned about practicing cosmetic medicine? 

I have learned doing cosmetic medicine that it's importent to never do what the patient wants and what is going to fit their needs (results, price, etc.), rather than what I want or would prefer to do. Everybody’s needs are different and it is very important to listen. I just think cosmetic medicine is very rewarding.  It is very important to be honest and to choose the treatments that will most benefit your patient.

About: Beatriz H. Porras, M.D. is the medical director of Skin Diagnostics Laser & Rejuvenation. She is board certified dermatologist.

Dr. Porras graduated from Medical School from Norte University in Colombia; subsequently she did a surgical internship and fellowship in Plastic Surgery at Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis MO. She completed her Dermatopathology training at UT Southwestern at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas TX, where she trained with one of the best dermatologist in the world, and former president of the American Academy of Dermatology (Dr. Clay J. Cockerell). Dr. Porras was a professor of Biology at Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis, MO. and currently is the president of SKIN DIAGNOSTICS INC, where she serves other physicians by diagnosing skin diseases.

Dr. Porras has extensive research experience, twenty years ago she helped in the research and development of growth factors to promote wound healing, today growth factors are used in several medications and skin products to promote skin regeneration and rejuvenation. She has authored over 30 peer-reviewed papers in leading medical scientific journals and she has contributed several chapters in major dermatology, dermatopathology and plastic surgery textbooks. Dr. Porras is also trained in Laser Medicine and is Laser Certified.

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Interested in being interviewed? Please contact us.

IPL & Lasers from China

I've certainly been getting a lot of IPL & cosmetic laser companies from China contacting me lately trying to get on the site.

I haven't seen one yet that claims FDA approval for their lasers. Does anyone with a laser clinic or medical spa outside the US have experience using lasers or IPLs from China? Are lasers or IPLs a workable solution for clinics in Europe or Asia?

Im guessing that a very large majority of the componants that are used by Palomar, Cutera, or Thermage are manufactured in China already.

Fractional CO2 Chat Transcript: Lumenis UltraPulse, Reliant Fraxel, Sciton ProFractional, Cutera Pearl Fractional...

The Fractional CO2 Laser chat transcript: The various Fractional Technologies. Lumenis UltraPulse, Reliant Fraxel, Juvia, Sciton ProFractional, Lutronics, Cutera Pearl Fractional, and others. Depth of Penetration, Energy Levels, Length and Width of Ablation and Coagulation, % Surface Area Covered etc.

Next Live Chat: Fractional CO2 Lasers

Fractional CO2 Laser Disccusion:

Wednesday March 11, 2009.

9 - 10 PM EST

Participate in the conversation as Fraxel, Lumenis, MiXto, Juvia, Dot, Lutronic and others (even a PreOwned Laser Dealer) try to convince MAPA Man to purchase their Fractional CO2 Laser. Fractional Erbium and Cutera Pearl Fractional will also be invited.

Chat Room

Discussions include treatment perameters, effectivness, cost, the technolgies and anything else of interest. All interested parties are invited. Reps who identify themselves and are willing to engage in open discusion are also welcome.

To participate: Click the launch window button above at the scheduled time.
Looking forward to seeing you.

Read Previous Chat Transcripts