Dr. Sasaki encourages physician buyers to adopt a business-centric methodology when integrating energy-based body contouring devices into their practice in order make a good buying decision. “From a device standpoint I think the manufacturer should be willing to show a clinically proven experience level with clear safety profiles, reasonable comfort during treatment, acceptable downtime and of course high patient satisfaction,” he explained. “If possible, it should be a brand name backed by evidence-based research.”
“Each of my current devices has to earn the title of working core system,” Dr. Sasaki continued. “They are not to be parked in the corner and they should be used on a daily basis either in combination with other modalities or alone to boost outcomes and meet patient expectations.”
The devil is in the details when it comes to a device’s origin and technical sophistication, Mr. Shorr added. “Is it FDA approved or is it manufactured internationally? What are the applications it can perform? Does it also treat other indications? If it is a multifunctional platform and one portion breaks down is the rest of the system inoperable? Can you purchase individual modalities or must you purchase them all? Do the product’s consumables time out or can they be used on multiple treatments with the same patient?”
While single modality devices are still extant and worthwhile, turnkey multi-technology platforms and other devices that add value to body shaping procedures are becoming very important additions to aesthetic practices, Dr. Sasaki noted, adding that he employs the Z Wave from Zimmer MedizinSystems (Irvine, Calif.), as an adjunct to both surgical and non-surgical procedures. The Z Wave uses high energy, non-invasive radial pulse therapy to help enhance results of other contouring treatments, such as Cryolipolysis.
“With multifunctional systems you have to be able to use them as a standalone treatment or with other devices to obtain the best results,” Dr. Sasaki reported. “As always, patient selection is critical to success, but the device also has to first fit into your current patient demographic.”
Fotona (based in the U.S. and Europe), has recently introduced a multifunctional body shaping system called TightSculpting™. This dual-wavelength, non-invasive laser treatment combines hyperthermic adipocyte destruction and collagen remodeling in a fast and effective alternative to laser lipolysis, with no consumables or downtime.
For Doohi Lee, M.D., a cosmetic surgeon in Plano, Texas, TightScupting represents a significant technology advancement. “This phenomenal implementation of the physics of laser science delivers energy to tissues very effectively, and with good results. It utilizes Nd:YAG and Erbium energies in a non-ablative, non-surgical way to eliminate undesired areas of fat while tightening the skin,” he reported.
While choosing the right technology has its challenges, managing patient expectations when using those technologies is also a top priority. Some practitioners have adopted new approaches to help patients remember appointments and improve compliance issues.
“If a client doesn’t cooperate with their own treatment plan then it will not work. It is a waste of everyone’s time and their money,” stated Suneel Chilukuri, M.D., a cosmetic and dermatologic surgeon in Houston, Texas. “So, we have changed our approach. I have my body shaping patients keep a diet and exercise log that we can track together on an app.”