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Cosmetic Laser Buying Tips

cosmetic laser

Since the IAPAM began offering its Aesthetic Medicine Symposiums with Botox Training in 2006, one of the most important topics covered at the Symposium is “Utilizing Lasers and Light Based Devices in a Practice.” Since laser hair removal and lasers for skin rejuvenation are perennially one of the top 5 non-surgical aesthetic medical treatments, this part of the IAPAM’s Symposium is very popular and central to a succesful aesthetic medicine practice, and the key question asked by physicians during the Q & A portion of the presentation is, “what laser do I buy?  So to answer that question, I’ve asked the “Laser Queen,” Cindy Graf for her insights. Cindy is one of the faculty at the IAPAM at an instructor at our Aesthetic Medicine Symposiums with Botox Training.

Adding Laser/IPL to your Aesthetic Practice

If you are contemplating adding a new piece of equipment to your aesthetic practice, here are a few tips for making a financially successful purchase.  Menu of Services…Switch It UP !!!!!!

Whether you are new in practice or just updating your Menu of Services, we all need to review and revamp our procedures to keep up with the demand of our “net savvy” clients.  I like to switch up the Menu of Services every year.  Add or rename procedures and evaluate whether the practice can afford new equipment to stay current and compete with other like businesses. If so move ahead.  Facial services can be expanded from the basic “photorejuvenation procedure” (most popular) to include layered rejuvenation to include multiple procedures or be purchased a la carte.

An example of this would be adding a DermaFrac microdermabrasion prior to an IPL treatment.  I always like to have an entry-level procedure that brings new patients in the door to evaluate their skin and make recommendations for a treatment plan.  The $59 Microdermabrasion Club or Seasonal Spa facial is a good way to bring first time patients into our services monthly. Consider the demographics of your clientele: if yours is a diverse population, how many of the patients will benefit or be able to take advantage of the treatment?

Poll Your Patients…Ask and Ye Shall Receive

If you are looking to add a LASER, IPL, or Radiofrequency system, first poll your patients.  Hand out my 30 Second Questionnaire (available by emailing me at and ask your patients specifically if he/she would be interested in having laser/IPL/ treatment for facial veins/age spots/ facial tightening/ stretch marks/ tattoos here at your medical spa.  After polling 100 patients upon registration, tally these results and multiply the number of patients interested by the price of the treatment (s) in the procedures to determine the potential revenue in your practice for these procedures.

Who will perform the treatments?  Know the law before adding procedures.

This is a big consideration when purchasing equipment that many physicians do not consider.  Who will be able to legally perform the treatment?  If this procedure is a physician- or mid level provider- licensed procedure in your state, will it generate enough revenue to utilize this professional’s time?  Or do you even have the time?  Remember that physician supervised procedures create passive revenue, and physician procedure revenues must support the time of the physician/ NP/ PA to perform.  Know the State Medical Societies requirements.  Also think about the table and room requirements needed for the procedure.  Do you want to add a hand piece to your IPL platform or is that platform performing hair removal 8 hours a day and will not be available for the procedure?  Sometime a free- standing hair removal system is best.  It all depends on the staffing and growth of your business.

How many treatments will be required to break even monthly?

When you established your new Menu, determined what equipment will fulfill the treatment requirements and have the staffing in place, it is now time to forecast an ROI on the procedure.  This formula is basically (# of procedures) X (package price of procedures) minus (the monthly lease cost) plus (overhead of the procedure).  This will give you a breakeven number to profitability.  You need to be able to pay off the equipment in two to three years, because that is about the life span of IPL/ Laser Technology.

Ongoing Costs

You need to figure into your ROI the ongoing costs of maintaining the equipment.  Does it have a disposable cost per procedure?  How many years are included in the service plan?  Try to negotiate 2-3 years of service in the initial purchase of the equipment.  The ongoing service plans generally cost about 10% of the purchase price.

If you are thinking of buying a new LASER/IPL/ BBL/ Radiofrequency system…..NOW is the time!  Take advantage of low year-end purchase prices and utilize tax credit benefits which may not be available next year.  No time like Jan 1 to launch an exciting new procedure and breathe a breath of fresh air and currency to your aesthetic medical practice! YOU can DO this…we can help.

Cindy Graf, “The Laser Queen”

For more information on the IAPAM’s Aesthetic Practice Startup Workshop, please visit: . For information on the Aesthetic Medicine Symposium with Botox Training, please visit: