Laser Testing

After spending over 4 months testing different lasers on the market, Fade Fast Laser Tattoo Removal decided to upgrade our Palomar QYAG5 to the Focus Medical NaturaLase QS 2J. With so many lasers on the market all having pretty hefty price tags it was a long, tedious and expensive process. In the end we spent over $20,000 in research costs, but the hands-on experience was worth every penny. Below is a list of the machines we tested and a bit of information on each.

comp

Revlite200 Hoya Conbio’s Revlite was the first system we tested. Actually, it was the second time we had the machine in our office (we did a side-by-side comparison with the QYAG5 a year and half ago.) However, this time we treated significantly more clients. The verdict: Conbio makes good solid machines. There is a reason that both the Revlite and its predecessor, the C6, are often called the “Gold Standard” of laser tattoo removal. Overall the results were good and the local sales guys (Maxim Laser) were fantastic.
The next laser that we tested was the Lutronic Spectrum VRM III. Again, a good solid machine. Putting it through the paces, it compared very closely to the Revlite. There were several pros and cons but overall the main things that made the machine most attractive were a lower cost and a longer warranty. If we had stopped our testing at this point, I think Lutronic would have been our new machine, but we pushed forward researching more equipment. Lutronic200
NaturaLase200 Laser number three that came to our office was the Focus Medical NaturaLase QS 2J. This machine is unlike any other laser on the market. The hand piece allows for more settings. It has external calibration. But, the real selling point on the laser is power. It produces twice the power of both the Revlite and the Spectrum VRM III in single pulse Q-switched mode. In laymen’s terms this means faster, more effective, and ultimately less treatments for the clients. Also, because of the increased power, the NaturaLase QS 2J is twice as effective in treating blue and green ink, which has always been the shortcoming for Nd:YAG lasers.
Finally, we tested the Fotona QX Max. This laser really is in a class all its own. It’s a 1.6J machine, which means that it produces 60% more power than most of the Q-switched Nd:YAG lasers on the market. The machine is tiny and seems to be very well built. The hand piece is similar in functionality to the NaturaLase and is extremely light and ergonomic. It even has the option of a wireless foot pedal. Of all the lasers we tested, this was one of the most impressive and is still one of our favorites on the market. Fotona200

It took over a month of deliberation, but in the end we chose the Focus Medical NaturaLase QS 2J. Every machine we tested would have made an excellent addition to the business, but ultimately, it is all about power. If our practice included skin tightening, acne treatments, vascular lesion treatments, etc, then we might have chosen a different machine. However, Fade Fast only does laser tattoo removal. The speed and the power of the NaturaLase 2J just can’t be rivaled.

NaturaLaseA

Furthermore our decision was based on the future research, development and training that Focus Medical offered with the laser. Our technician, Allen Falkner, has visited the manufacturing facility twice, was trained to service the machine and still works closely with laser designer. What does this mean for our clients? By understanding the physics, inner workings and operational parameters of the laser, we can provide more customized treatments for our individual clients and ultimately give them better and faster results.

NaturaLaseside

Update: It has been two months since we integrated the NaturaLase 2J into our business and the results have been phenomenal, but that’s not all. Due to the increased power and huge ten-millimeter spot size, sessions have been 4 to 6 times faster than our older laser. Also, compared to some 450mJ systems, such as the Medlite C3, the NaturaLase 2J can, in some cases, reduce the time per session by as much 1/10th.*

spotsizes

*1/10th reduction is a comparison of area treated per laser pulse – 6.5mm spot size (33.17 mm squared) to a 2mm spot size (3.14 mm squared)

For more information on the machines such as in depth comparisons, energy outputs per spot size, and final results of our trials, please feel free to contact us.

Second Laser Review/Comparison

This week I tested my Palomar QYAG5 against the Hoya Conbio Revlite laser. I planned to demo the Medlite C6, which is almost the same unit, but the Revlite is Conbio’s top of the line machine and of course they want to show the more expensive unit. The touch screen that the Revlite offers over the Medlite C6 is very cool, but when it comes right down to it, the Medlite C6 is really just as good for tattoo removal.

Before I get into the full results, I was honestly shocked how similar the systems really are. I was actually able to produce almost identical results with just one exception that I will address here in a minute.

Here are the results:

    Power – The Revlite is a 220V machine, where mine is a 110V. As with the last laser I demoed this machine produces a lot of heat. Also, the Revlite took a while to warm up, whereas the Palomar starts immediately.

    Energy – The Revlite does seem to be able to produce more energy, although, the Palomar appears to be able to match it within certain parameters. Looking at the display, the Revlite can produce more power in a larger spot size, but it was more energy than needed to treat the two test clients.

    Wavelength – The Revlite has two dye polymer hand pieces that allow the machine to produce 585 and 650 wavelengths that the Palomar cannot. The Palomar has a wave-blending feature that the Revlite does not. Testing light blues the machines have similar results. However, the Revlite does seem to react slightly better to greens.

    Spot Size – In 1064 and 532 modes the Revlite does have a 8mm spot size, where the Palomar only has 6mm. When it comes to doing very big black or red pieces, the Revlite can do them a bit faster. However, in 585 and 650 mode the Revlite spot size drops down to 2mm to 3mm making progress super slow going.

    Speed – First, as mentioned above, the Revlite needs to warm up, where the Palomar is ready to operate when it’s turned on. Simple, but clients don’t like to wait. As for the operation, in 1064 and 532 modes, both machines operate at the same speed, 10HZ, they fire 10 shots a second. When the Revlite is in 585 and 650 mode it drops down to 1 or 2 HZ making treatment of large blue/green tattoos incredibly time consuming.

    Ergonomic – The Revlite articulated arm is slightly more comfortable to use than the larger Palomar lasing unit. The Revlite might be easier to use for some people, but the Palomar also comes with an arm to hold the large hand piece. My thoughts are that the Revlite is more ergonomic, but only slightly.

    Function – Side by side these machines are so similar. The only complaints I got from the clients were that the Revlite is just too slow in blue and green modes. When the Palomar operates in the wave blending mode to treat these colors it is so much faster.

    Results – I worked on two clients and the results are yet to be seen, give me a week or two. I can tell you from first glance, the results seem almost identical.

    Pain – Because the machines operate in the same way, pain seems similar as well. Both clients gave almost identical reviews about the sensation.

    Hair Removal – Another reason I wanted to review this machine is its hair removal feature. Not that I plan to delve into this business, but if the machine has the option I might offer it as well. As it turns out, this laser really isn’t designed to do hair removal. During the machine’s initial testing, they found less hair growth in areas that were treated for tattoo removal. So, does the machine do hair removal? Well a bit, but then again, the Palomar does the exact same thing.

In final review, the machines look and operate very differently, but the core physics are extremely similar. Prior to testing the machine I was convinced the Hoya Conbio Revlite and Medlite C6 would have so much more to offer than the Palomar QYAG5. The final test will be in the results, but for now, I see such little difference that I doubt I will be in any hurry to change lasers.

Coming soon, a review of a new pain reduction device.