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Cosmetic IPL Laser Reviews & Comparisons > Cynosure Laser Users?

Is anyone utilizing Cynosure Lasers currently in their clinics? If so, how have the results and patient satisfaction been?


11.30 | Unregistered CommenterMidwest
Awesome, best system on the market
12.11 | Unregistered CommenterUser
I just can't see myself buying a laser because an anonymous user posted 'awesome' on the web. If anyone has some real experience they're willing to share I'd be overjoyed to learn from them since I'm trying to decide on some technology issues myself. I'm just hoping this doesn't turn into myspace.
I have been using Cynosure technology for close to three years now. I have used Lumenis,Cutera and Candela over the years and hands down Cynosure cleary sets themselves apart from the rest. I initially purchased their pulse dye VSTAR and their Apogee Elite. My nurses love the ease of use of systems (smaller handpieces, no gel, air cooling) but most importantly my patients LOVE the results. The Apogee Elite system is one of the main reasons my practice is so successful today. 6 months ago I purchased a second one and I have 2 treatment rooms booked all day long.

The Apogee elite is a high powered alexandrite and ND:yag in one box. No one else offers that combination. For hair removal, you can treat every single patient who walks through your door safely, comfortably and EFFECTIVELY. The peak power of the system gives you the choice of 6 different spot sizes with more output energy than anyone else. The system also has a variable pulse width with both lasers, which really allows you to customize each and every treatment for maximum results. The best benefit of all are the other treatments you can offer with the system..pigmented lesions, face veins, leg veins, skin rejuvenation, skin tightening etc
12.12 | Unregistered CommenterLaserQueen
My laser center was outfitted with three Cynosure Apogee 9300 (alexandrite) lasers and one Cynosure Acclaim Nd:Yag in early 2003 when my partner and I became franchisees in the Sona Laser Center franchise. My experience with Cynosure over the past three years has been horrendous. The lasers broke down often and after paying $400,000 for the four lasers just a few years ago the company is now telling us they are WORTHLESS. They have bumped up the cost of a service contract to the extent that it is virtually cheaper to purchase new equipment. In addition, the efficacy of the lasers for hair removal is far short of what we were promised by both Cynosure and Sona. Cynosure now acknowledges that the 9300s were already "ancient" technology when we purchased in 2003, and claims that their new models are far superior. That's pretty hard to swallow after forking over $400,000! I have also heard that the Elite's are slower than the Apogees when used at higher fluences-- so be careful when making your comparisons with competitive units. My experience is that the Cynosure lasers were also extremely uncomfortable for patients when used at appropriate fluence levels. Finally, we were instructed to always use gel AND the Zimmer chiller when operating the lasers. Unfortunately, most MEDSPA owners do not find alll this out until at least 12 months into the operation. Do your due diligence-- and talk to other experienced laser center owners and laser surgeons before making your decision. Finally-- be sure to find out up front how ongoing servioce and maintenance will be handled. We often had to pay time and travel expense to fly repairmen across the U.S just to repair or maintain out lasers (because they are very large).
Wow..thank you all so much for your responses. Good AND Bad. There are so many variables to factor into buying a unit...from actual capabilities of the laser to the customer service of the company. I would really like to establish a relationship with a company that is credible and stands behind solid technology. Yet, it seems like there is an absolute abyss of misinformation and downright 'shadiness' to the whole industry. Plus, when a rep comes to 'rehearse' a laser with you, very rarely are they ever a physician, RN, PA, LPN, or even an aesthetician! Things can go wrong and patients can get HURT if this equipment is in incompetent hands. It's all so nerve wracking!!!

I really appreciate everyone's input.
12.13 | Unregistered CommenterMidwest
sounds like this is a forum for bitter sona owners. with respect to the cynosure products we traded a 6200 alex in for an elite and it has been awesome. Co has been helpful and we think that it is best on market. (have been doing hair for over 6 years) Nothing i have seen can compete with the efficacy of the alex for hair. air cooling good. I tried every other device and choose to stay plus they gave me a great trade in.
12.20 | Unregistered Commentersw derm
Thanks SW Derm,

Our clinic got to audition the Affirm laser. We did a treatment on my mom and skin really gave a nice response. Especially on the panels of the cheeks. I also like the laser hair reduction modalities (alex) because it's so incredibly fast! The cooling is great, and you can use that Zimmer for ten million other procedures in the clinic. I am just a little nervous about dealing with the company. Also, their IPL handpiece is ridiculously large for the face.

Thanks for you input
12.21 | Unregistered CommenterMidwest
Does anyone know anything about the new Affirm announced this month with deeper tissue heating wave length, would this compare with the Thermage for tightening.

Thanks for any input
MidWest, are you saying that the Affirm comes with an IPL handpiece? Can you elaborate? I thought it was only for skin tightening.

Southwest MD: I saw one of the Cynosure reps at a function late last year and she looked amazing. I thought she had taken a vacation or was deeply in love. She was just glowing and fresh. Kind of like what Moses looked like in the movie The Ten Commandments when he came down from the mountain. So radiant that you could not take your eyes off her. I finally asked her if she had had a facial and she told me she had recently had one treatment with the Affirm.

Her quick explanation was that Affirm was superior to Thermage in that there was no blue goo and the pain was negligable in comparison. It was superior to Fraxel in that it did not heat tissue that did not require heating. It takes less time to complete the procedure and there was something about the handpieces or tips being multiuse....My encounter with her was quick and it happened back in September 06, so my memory is a bit fuzzy.

She did tell me last week to watch the E-Channel pre-Oscar Awards coverage. A very well known LA Dermatologist/TV MD-personality type was going to be using it to do celebrity treatments. They may have reruns out by now.
Be careful, I agree with the previous comment about the repair fee. Also , now that my warranty has expired, I am amazed how expensive it is to have a maintanence requirement.I live about 170 miles away from a major city and i get charged 1000$ for each visit by a repair man.
05.10 | Unregistered CommenterCalMD
Thank you to all the contributors to this discussion. I am reading with interest, as I attended a Cynosure workshop today.
CalMD, could you elaborate on how often you need maintenance visits? Also, how does Cynosuer's $1,000 charge compare with repair charges of other companies?
05.12 | Unregistered CommenterMDmd
I have owned an Apogee Elite for about 8 months. The machine is excellent, but has had problems.( Calibration, loose connector to the handpiece, broken reflecting mirror in the unit.) The internal lens on one of the handpieces had a "burn out spot", and the technician told me this was strange since it was so new and not used that much. Cynosure refused to replace it, andthusforced me to pay about 400.00 to have it replaced. I also referred a friend who was ready to purchase another brand laser. My rep told me I would be getting a referral fee of 1000.00. My friend's rep also showed me e-mails where the rep selling the equipment said I might be entitled to a referral fee. Cynosure has REFUSED to give me the referral fee. The equipment is very effective, but I shall never buy again from Cynosure. They are developing a very bad reputation in this area. 135,000 piece of equipment, and they treat customers worse than you are treated if you buy a 15,000.00 Toyota. They do not seem to care once the unit is sold.
05.19 | Unregistered Commenterjcarib70
Ouch. Thanks for sharing your story.
05.19 | Unregistered CommenterMDmd
jcarib70-- Did the lovely folks at Cynosure also tell you how much it will cost for a service call after your first year warranty expires? You will not like the cost. They also want the money in cash up front. If you do not have a service contract, you will be stuck with paying the cost of flying in a service technician from a location far across the country to repair it at a very high hourly rate plus very expensive parts.
05.20 | Unregistered Commentermedspa guy
This shows you the importance of looking at how a company backs there systems. I have one system that they want $14,000 per year for "warranty". I found an independent laser tech that will come work on this system as I need. He is a fraction of the cost of the warranty. The only issue is sometimes it is difficult to get parts unless you get them directly form the company and then they will only let one of their techs install and of course at a premium.

So when you are looking at systems make sure that you include the cost of upkeep and warranties in the price. It is best to look at the cost of your equipment over time.
05.20 | Unregistered CommenterLH

I have Cynosure Cynergy (PDL and YAG), Apogee and Affirm from new. The Cynergy broke down every 8 weeks. The Apogee would have an error warning every four months. The extended warranty contract is very expensive...about one thousand dollars per machine per month and that does not include parts. The dye for PDL is $4000 per 200 ml bottle and you have to replace it every year, whether you use it or not. Does anybody know of a third party service company in the SF Bay area?

08.27 | Unregistered CommenterAdrian Li

Hi Adrian Li,
How do you like Afferm, does it really works, as they advetise it?

08.28 | Unregistered Commenterolga77

LH, where can I find an independent laser tech? could you email me some info?


08.29 | Unregistered CommenterLaserRN


Where are you at? I am in the midwest.


08.29 | Unregistered CommenterLH

Have had a Cynosure Acclaim 7000 for 2 and 1/2 years. Had it serviced with cynosure and nothing but problems since. 12,000 service contract signed and not30 days later shutter is sticking! Will never look at another cynosure product again! Has anyone else had the same problems? Anyone know a good laser service company in Canada

I am certified by Cynosure to work on their equipment. Anyone need anything, please contact me. I am located in Wisconsin, but am willing to travel for service. I have fibers, handpiece rebuilding/optics, flashlamps, etc.

Anyone looking to get rid of an Acclaim or 9300, in good condition or needing pump chamber work, I am looking for mainly the pump for rebuilding, but would accept whole lasers.

Please let anyone else here know I am here to help.


09.14 | Unregistered CommenterLeon

If you are having problems with the acclaim 7000 what are they?

I can only say that since working for Cynosure the caliber of techinician, especially in Canada is not good. Most of the good technicians quit or were let go because of demands for more money after years of loyal service. I worked for them for a couple of years, just before they went public and after and it got really bad after they went public. After 12 hour days on the road if you had the day off you were forced to get up early in the morning and forced to be part of customer service and answer phones, which is why tech support is so bad now. There tech support computer system is stone aged.

I am only stating this because chances are your technicians are not doing you justice. This is the newer style acclaim that looks like the elite, right? If it is, that is a very problem free unit.

09.14 | Unregistered CommenterLeon

Loen, Call me. I'm in need of support. 703.930.8591

09.14 | Unregistered Commentermike

Most of these comments regarding Cynosure equipment are fair and accurate, even if some shout with emotion.
We service many Apogee, Acclaim and Elite lasers nationwide and have for years. We do so because with they are operating, they deliver good treatment results. It is not our platform of choice, but the systems' designs are improving.
The Cyno equipment downside is that one has to 'maintain' it frequently. Even on their best day, a heavily-worked Cyno laser chews through lamps voraciously. And, other parts within the system do tend to fail at somewhat disappointingly high rates.
There's a little good-with-the-bad here: if a medspa is pounding its laser to the point of frequent (monthly) maintenance, that spa is banking $$.
...just 200 miles from Houston - in Austin.

09.14 | Unregistered Commenterjohnc

The elite platform, in my opinion was the best system from them. and you get a million shots a set of lamps give or take.

09.14 | Unregistered CommenterLeon

i have to say I agree with you! Speaking of, I am in austin, can you send me your contact info i am always looking for someone experienced with cynosure for service. thanks!

09.17 | Unregistered Commenternausicaa

The cynosure lasers deliver great results. if you have an experienced tech the results are wonderful even for fine hair. the new 1.5mm handpiece makes treating facial veins with the elite alot safer. unfortunately they do break down ALL the time. My elite is about a year old and I've had trouble with everything from the cal-port to the bloody rod! I won't have another untill they can get their r&d dept. to make a quality piece of equipment.

09.17 | Unregistered Commenternausicaa

If the Acclaim has a sticking shutter, there is a good chance that it's not the shutter, but the technician installing it is not checking the clearance of the shutter paddle between the sensor.

Cynosures technicians are very poorly trained in many cases. The release many new lasers without even showing their technicians what the system looks like. I've been there when a unit has been released prematurely and then Cynosure doesn't train the technicians in the field for well over a year, and many times the training is nothing more than showing how the unit works, but not covering any of the common issues that may arise or any trouble shooting techniques.

Every Cynosure Elite laser I've serviced has remained trouble free or had minimally cheap repairs done. No rod problems, only lamps. Even the Cynosure 9300,6200, and Acclaims have run very long under my service. Yes they went through lamps if used frequently, and have blown lamps as well. On average pump chambers have held up well. Many times it's what a technician does above and beyond the primary repair, like clean the laser of dust and inspect optics cleaning if needed. Most technicians are LAZY and won't do anything other than fix the problem at hand even if there are other issues that may need to be addressed.

09.19 | Unregistered CommenterLeon

What settings are you using for your 1.5 spot size for fine hair?
Is there any new settings for blond or white?
Is the technology improving in this area?

What settings are you using for your 1.5 spot size for fine hair?
Is there any new settings for blond or white?
Is the technology improving in this area?

Tracey: You need to check with Cynosure on this. My clinic NEVER used such a small spot size. Your treatment would have very little depth of penetration of the laser beam AND it would take forever. As a general rule, after performing literally thousands of treatments my clinic realized that the ONLY way to effectively reduce finer hair with the 755 nm wavelength is to use very high fluences and short pulse durations. This requires light skin and NO recent tanning (ideally 2 months without ANY).

If anyone is telling you ANY device can reduce blonde, gray or white they are charlatans. It is scientifically impossible with the available technology today. And don't even consider Meladine. It is a hoax.

Thanks for the advice
I don't use a 1.5 either.
Was just checkin

Do you think we will ever be able to treat grey or white?

Tracey: A good friend of mine is a derm who further specializes in hair transplantation so he is deeply into the science of hair growth and physiology. He believes an entirely new scientific principle - totally different from selective photothermolysis- will need to be adapted to destruction/disablement of hair follicles while sparing healthy surrounding tissue. Perhaps something to do with enzymes??? It will be a billion dollar patent if someone can come up with it.

Thanks med spa guy
This site is excellent!

Has anyone the Apogee Elite with Alex + Nd YAG modules?I wonder what is the max fluence in Nd YAG at 3mm spot at 0,4msec?Just for information...If anyone can answer...

10.4 | Unregistered CommenterCharry

With respect to their Elite system, has anybody experienced any pain and/or strain in their eyes from staring at the red spot size during treatments?

A couple of my technicians have expressed concerns that they're getting an extreme amount of strain from staring at the red spot size for treatments that run a half hour or more.

12.20 | Unregistered CommenterBrian

I think as long as you are using an alex. you will get good results, however--I have been debating purchasing a LHR system from cynasure and will certainly think this through as service is a must (GOOD service)!

01.3 | Unregistered Commentermwrn

Everyone has a story to tell about poor service one time or another. Cynosure has become the #1 medical and aesthetic laser company over the past 2 years. Cynosure's growth is incredible! The fact of the matter is Cynosure moved on from the likes of Leon’s whose negative influences were a cancer to Cynosure. Cynosure hires quality people, engineers with degrees. Cynosure is staffed direct in Canada and employs over 30 engineers in the US. Cynosure was just voted the #1 Customer service departments for 2007. If you want to believe everything you read from a discruntle former employee, who could never meet the demands of his customer base, his job, his life and the superior technology put into Cynosure’s new product line. I guess you should believe everything you read. I know I wouldn’t higher a third rate player with questionable parts from his former company. I would have to question the quality of a person claiming to have parts from a former employer and how he acquired these parts .Is the kind of trust worthy person you want servicing your system? I think not.

I'm flattered Cynosure has to come on a site and bash little o'l me when they are a "power to be recond with in lasers". How could I be such a big threat. If my service and parts are so terrible then by their accord I should have been out of business by now, after all who would pay me to do such an aweful job installing sub par parts. Sad thing is I used my real name and this company puppet is hiding behind a made up name. Wonder why, maybe someone would recognize the name and match it to a person who gave them wonderfull support for their laser. The facts speak for themselves. Your right, on paper Cynosure looks great. Lots of employees trying to feed families for below average laser tech wages. Stocks are up. What a surprise for a company that just recently went public, right, no motivation to meet the expectations ofthe investors. Enron was hugely profitable too and showed great numbers and success. How could that happen. Funny how numbers can be manipulated.

Cynosure themselves buys their parts from other companies. They don't even build their own lasers. The chillers are made in Germany for more companies than Cynosure, they just change the name depending on which company is selling them. Some of the other systems, like the IPLs are made overseas as well. Like everything you buy, it's all made with parts from all over the country, if not the world.

My work speaks for itself. I'm not the only one offering service on lasers besides the OEM. I work in a Network of technicians that cover the US and Canada. Lets face facts, no one would take time out to search out a forum to vent their frustrations if it was for one or two bad experiences, would they?

I've got 10 year experience and a laser degree as well. My customers continual loyalty speaks for itself. My parts meet or exceed Cynosures own specifications. In some circumstances the parts I use are dirctly from Cynosure, or their vendors. They can't refuse sale of parts to the owners of their own equipment. I try to avoid this because in order to strong arm you into calling them in they charge almost double for parts if they aren't installing them themselves, thinking it will prevent their competion from providing reasonable prices for parts.

Cynosure doesn't even repair their own laser for a good number of models, and have dumped the service onto a 3rd party company, which in many cases charges more for service calls than Cynosure themselves would because of travel costs. I don't blame them entirely, there are some Cynosure lasers I won't even touch because of the problems they have.

Realistically almost every company that sells big ticket items, like cars, lasers, etc. make the majority of their money in parts and service, not the actual product sold. It's no wonder they do everything in their power to prevent anyone from taking away business, it hurts their profits.

In the meantime, I'll start sending my applications into McDonalds and Fazoli's in preparation for my demise. After all, my crappy parts and service is bound to do me in. I better be prepared.

01.25 | Unregistered CommenterLeon

Regarding the above "debate" between "Pro Cynosure" and "Leon", I do not know if Cynosure has cleaned up its act the past year or not. My experience in dealing with Cynosure from 2003 through 2006 was as follows--
1. My partner and I purchased approx. $500,000 in Cynosure equipment;
2. We had NUMEROUS technical problems with the equipment over this three year period. Service was not consistent, but when our warranties expired the charges for repairs were astronomical.
3. The cost of getting extended service agreements was also astronomical-- if available at all.
4. We found out (the hard way) that the lasers we had paid $100,000 each for in 2003 were WORTHLESS just three years later! The technology was already outmoded for both the Apogee 9300 and Acclaim Nd:YAG lasers.
5. In my opinion Leon and a fellow named Eric were the best and most helpful of all the service techs we dealt with.

Would you please contact me? I need a repair ASAP on my Cynosure. I am in West Michigan. 616-447-9393. My previous service person will not come to Michigan.

02.13 | Unregistered CommenterBetsyRN


just got your message here, will call you Monday, the 24th as soon as I can. I will take care of you, Michigan is not far for me.

02.24 | Unregistered CommenterLeon

We are new to the laser business and have narrowed our selection down to the elite, and the gentlemax from candella, we are mainly doing veins and hair. any advice

03.23 | Unregistered CommenterAS

Please help?

I am currently considering a career change to sales in the laser market and trying to do some due diligence. As a professional salesperson with 20+ years, I have built a successful career on the practice of thinking, 'customer, company and self'. Not always a popular idea in some companies!! That said, it is interesting reading the debates, pro's and cons in the aesthetic laser market. I would truly appreciate 'honest and constructive' feedback from MD's, Spa Owners, Reps, etc. with regard to this market and in particular top players, Cynosure, Cutera, Palomar, etc. I.E. Why did you choose one over the other? 'the pitch', company culture, service issues, has company/salesperson lived up to expectations and are you recognizing the revenues in your offices that the laser market promotes as a way to supplement income in the PCP/MD market? Thanks in advance to all those kind enough to respond as to the viability of the market, perception of the 'top players', and any other ideas, thoughts that you feel may be helpful.


03.25 | Unregistered CommenterCurious

Does anyone know where I can get the laser repaired without going through the company, it's so expensive to get it repaired?

From 2003 through 2006 my partner and I were trying to keep $500K worth of Cynosure lasers working and a gentleman named "Leon" was very helpful. He lives in Wisconsin and his number is (608)287-4750.

I actually went to the school in Ohio and thought it was great information.I did electonics in the Navy, so I did have some electrical background.Since I went to the school I have saved my company thousands of dollars. I am now working on other peoples machines.I have become very good with Candela and Cynosure products. If you need a consult I'm in Houston, tx. 281-419-0080

06.9 | Unregistered CommenterCharla

Self taught laser guys are a dime a dozen. EVERY and I mean EVERYONE that has worked on a laser without schooling specific to laser or at least several years of hands on with lasers has no business working on them. Any monkey can replace parts to get by, but in the long term may not be addressing critical issues that could cause costly damage. As far as I'm concerned there are only 2 people who have training from the OEM, years of Experience, and actual degrees in laser technology to be able to provide true reliable and specific service on Cynosure lasers. One is myself and the other is Integrity Laser who is located in Texas as well and is the ONLY other techinician I will allow to work on my customers lasers. We don't fix 20 different lasers, we are almost specific to Cynosure and a couple of other system for a reason. This is because it is almost impossible to provide thorough repair service by knowing a little about everything. Fixing a laser means more than just throwing a set of lamps in and hoping that calibrations and everything else is still good, which is what most technicians, without our experience, do. Just because a guy has a service manual doesn't mean he understands it and knows all the things learned through experience that truly provide the best service. If you need his info, contact me. We will help you any way we can and we are fair in what we charge. I know alot of companies and individuals who make claims of having the ability to work on Cynosure lasers. All whom I had to go in and fix what they could not. Realize this as well. Just because someone has been hired and given a couple weeks of training, does not necessarily qualify them to work on lasers. Many companies, including Cynosure hire guys that will take less money that have somewhat of a background in electronics, only to find on 99% don't grasp the technology and end up firing them later.
If it was that easy why is it that I am the main technician for the largest Spa company in America, for whom I travel from Chicago to the west coast and all over to provide service?? Call them and ask them why I was hired and who they hired only to find out they were frauds. After they got bill 10's of 1000's of dollars for parts and so called service only to have to hire myself to charge them several more thousands to get it right. I have referances, just call or email and ask.
I just hate when there are people out there trying to do this job and may seem legit but only ruin it for people like me. Many laser owners think they hire legit techs and think that since they can't fix the problems that their lasers are old or junk. Hell, sometimes there are great lasers, like the Cynosure Elite and even Cynosure hires crappy techs to service them which leads the owner to believe the systems are junk. Ticks me off!!! I have alot of happy customers and am not hear to bad mouth everyone in order ot bolster business, but it does me no good to have laser owners junking their lasers because of bad service. I believe we can help each other continue to operate our business by providing the best possible service to one another and customers.

06.19 | Unregistered Commenterleon


What do you think of Cynosures Smartlipo? I have heard that it has problems and breaks down fairly often. I am not sure why it would breakdown it is a solid state 1064.

I was just hoping for some insight as I am considering purchasing a used Smartlipo.

Thanks for your help

06.20 | Unregistered CommenterLH

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