30 Sep 2008

Evaluating this technology has been a very frustrating and trying process. I wonder how qualified any of us are to quantify one machine from the next.

For those of you who have been following the blogs we started by trying the Luminess Ultra F/X (with Deep and Active). A quick recap; the application was very cool. A little bit awkward to handle as a sole technician, but so fun to do. The procedure to apply both elements of this laser made for a bit of maneuvering. The Deep F/X and the Active F/X can be applied together during the same treatment as well as individually for a more moderate treatment or even a more specific treatment plan. The Active was a very comfortable treatment for the patient. There was little to no blood and start to finish it took about 20 minutes. The patient was quite red immediately following and sooner than not scabs began to form on the outer layer of the epidermis. Some minor wound care was necessary but after 48 hours, you may not quite look your best but you would be well on your way to recovery. Incorporated with the Deep F/X the patient experienced more discomfort and some swelling to go along with the crusting. All in all with a CO2 we know that your going to have down time, so nothing so remarkable. We followed 2 specific cases throughout the course of healing, which to completion was 7-9 days. After day 4 the crusting was already manageable. The final results were nice. The overall complexion was definitely more even. The pores had refined and the photo aging was pretty much non-exsistant. The patients were happy, but they also were evaluation cases, so the treatment was free of charge. Would they have been a thrilled with these moderate end results, extended downtime if they had paid $5000.00? I doubt it. In all fairness, the superficial results of most lasers are just the beginning and collagen remodeling can take anywhere from 5-8 months to see the end results.

Next we tried the monster, newly released by Fraxel, the Repair. I have to say, I am personally more comfortable with the ‘Fraxel’ name, simply because I have extensive experience with the clinical and technical application of the Fraxel:Restore. This technology has never let us down, and has provided so many patients with so much success.

Going into the evaluation we were exited and nervous. The protocols pre-procedure were very scary to say the least, but a lot of the time protocols are in place to protect the distributor so in doing this they can be and are a little over the top. The funny thing was, here we were with a leading-edge technology and a couple of treatments, valued at $5500.00 each, and we couldn’t give them away. People were scared. Scared of how they would look post procedure, even though they knew the worst would only be 4-5 days at most. Hmmm, how the heck are we going to sell something we can’t even give away? Are we ready for this?

Anyway, we finally pulled a guinea pig out of the dust and organized our live evaluation. We decided to do the neck area. The main difference between the Fraxel and the Luminess is that the Fraxel is a one hand piece treatment, therefore far more manageable as a single technician. The top layers as well as the deeper tissue areas are treated at the same time as opposed to needing 2 separate treatment heads. So the patient was given pain control meds, topically frozen with a Tetracaine and Lidocaine concoction and topped off with a nerve block, provided by Dr. O’Grady. Seemed a little bit of over kill to me, but I assumed if this was recommended then I should just watch and learn. Well the pain control was very important as it turns out. The patient experienced a lot of discomfort and this unnerved me. I mean what else could we have done other than knock the patient out. The whole point was for this to be an in clinic treatment. The treatment it self was soooo similar to the Fraxel: Restore, this was comforting. There was a lot more blood than with the Restore and quite a bit of oozing, which we expected, due to the depth we were treating. It was a bit under-whelming to be honest. I thought from the protocols, things would be sooo much worse. The most remarkable thing I noted during the treatment was the tissue tightening. It was instant. I would say about 30% was noticeable by the half way mark. It was quite impressive. I saw the patient for a follow up on Saturday, which was 3 days post and the area is very tight and red, but that’s about it. The patient was very comfortable and had been from moments after treatment completion. This is due to the technology. The micro themal zones are open, allowing the heat to escape, which translate into little to no post treatment discomfort. Its all very cool if you ask me.

We would have liked the opportunity to see a few more cases from start to finish, but Reliant (the manufacturer) won’t let us keep it any longer, so the evaluation period is over.
Do we buy or do we pass??? Is this marketable? A big part of me says take the pass. Don’t get me wrong, I think the technology is remarkable, but if we couldn’t find a candidate for a free treatment…how can we sell it? Not to mention the pain during treatment..can it be managed?

I wonder how many people out there will source out this technology?

I guess we will wait and see how our case heals and how it all turns out. Hopefully that will help us define if CO2 is the next addition to TSC. I will keep you posted as always.

xoxo
Shawn

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