Newer isn’t always better. So when does the new overtake the old?
Dr. Jeffrey Popp said there are four criteria to meet for new technology to replace the old. The new technology, procedure and/or equipment should be:
- More efficient
- Less expensive
- And get better results
“Some people argue, ‘Well, if you meet three but it costs more, you should replace it,’” Dr. Popp said. “But we’ve seen a perfect example of this with the newer liposuction techniques.”
A peek into the past
There are reports of a German doctor who was among the first to use ultrasound liposuction.
He treated half a patient’s body with traditional tumescent liposuction and the other half with ultrasonic liposuction.
“He was interested in the patient’s discomfort level, the healing process, safety aspects, cost and ultimate results,” Dr. Popp said.
In the end, the German doctor found no differences between the two technologies, except that ultrasonic liposuction was a bit more dangerous because it can burn through skin.
And it was costlier because more technology is involved.
So how do you know when it’s time to upgrade your technology or approach? Dr. Popp said it’s as much intuition as anything.
The value to be the first to offer new technologies or procedures is that you get to market it first.
“This works out great if the technology is good,” he said. “Patients are satisfied and come back.”
Dr. Popp said timing hasn’t always been perfect.
“Thermage, the first non-surgical tightening device, didn’t work the way it claimed and it hurt,” he said. “Second and third generation devices like Exilis, which I use, do work and don’t hurt.”
He said “to leap on the band wagon” without study and consideration risks the patient, as well as the doctor’s reputation.
“A lot of people like to be first so they get all of these patients,” Dr. Popp said. “But other doctors will catch up if the equipment is good. If it isn’t, you’re done for.”
Ready to schedule a liposuction procedure? Call 402-391-4558.