Device-based rejuvenation for the body has evolved rapidly in recent years, with new technologies and advancements shaping new possibilities for treating various places on the body. Ahead, two experts share insights on some of their personal favorite devices and their general impressions on how ongoing research and development of devices will take shape in coming years.
NEIL SADICK, MD, FAAD
What are some of your favorite devices?
In the burgeoning area of cellulite treatment, Dr. Sadick uses the Cellulaze laser (Cynosure) as well as the Venus Freeze (Venus Concept). For general tightening, one of his go-to devices is the Thermage Body Tip.
“In the skin tightening realm, there are several effective devices,” he notes. “Both LipoSonix and Zeltiq are effective for improving the contour of the body.” These are areas that Dr. Sadick expects to continue evolving, with one goal being to redistribute fat in the body. For this, he notes that Trusculpt by Cutera is a gamechanger.
Can you offer any tips on how to invest wisely in devices?
Given the upfront financial investment required to purchase a device, Dr. Sadick urges weighing all of your options when it comes to buying a device for body or any other kind of rejuvenation. “You need to be sure that you have enough patients to cover the cost of the device,” says Dr. Sadick. There are other factors as well, he notes. “Questions such as: Whether you can use a physician extender to operate a device, or whether you are the only one to have a certain device in your area, are very important to consider, as well.”
What kind of trends do you see shaping the direction of device development and use?
“We are seeing continued growth in devices that combine internal and external technologies, such as Cellulaze,” observes Dr. Sadick. “Patients are increasingly favoring procedures with minimal discomfort and little downtime.” Dr. Sadick also offers that technologies that will excel are those that give patients a reproducible sense satisfaction.
JASON POZNER, MD, FACS
Do you see any trends in terms of how devices are evolving?
“I think devices are getting more effective,” says Dr. Pozner. He sees this occurring not just in one area of device development, but across the whole spectrum of aesthetic devices. “Some improvements are in invasive devices, some in non-invasive, but in general I see a trend toward better machines,” he observes.
Can you offer insights on some of the newer modalities, such as ultrasound and others?
“Ultrasound technology, such as Ultherapy, is an effective tool on the face,” notes Dr. Pozner. “On the body: Liposonix and Ultrashape (Syneron/Candela) with focused ultrasound are effective.” Unfocused ultrasound, like in Vasershape (Solta Medical), Bella Contour (Real Aesthetics), and upcoming offerings from Alma, Exilis, and Syneron, also provide good results, says Dr. Pozner. Particularly in the plastic surgery realm, unfocused ultrasound technology can be especially useful, Dr. Pozner explains. “We love the unfocused devices after liposuction to help smooth things out.”
What are some of the financial considerations physicians should make when deciding what devices to purchase for their practice?
According to Dr. Pozner, the purchase of a device needs to be tailored to specialty, type of practice, and other devices in the practice. Some devices that have shown particular benefit are multi-use devices. “Machines from Alma, Exilis, and Syneron offer use for face and body which may appeal to many practices,” he notes.
What's your takeaway message regarding the balance of profitability and patient satisfaction?
Dr. Pozner's message is simple: Don't oversell. “Many of these devices don't replace surgical treatments at present, but the fat removal devices are coming close.” In addition, he notes, “Body tightening technology is also improving and is a great adjunct to any practice.”